A Room with a View
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A Room with a View

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  83,661 ratings  ·  2,521 reviews
One of E. M. Forster's most celebrated novels, "A Room With a View" is the story of a young English middle-class girl, Lucy Honeychurch. While vacationing in Italy, Lucy meets and is wooed by two gentlemen, George Emerson and Cecil Vyse. After turning down Cecil Vyse's marriage proposals twice Lucy finally accepts. Upon hearing of the engagement George protests and confess...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Digireads.com (first published 1908)
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Community Reviews

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Emily May
3.5
I am in a classics mood, but after my recent completion of War and Peace I decided to try something a little lighter and less than one tenth of the size. This is how I found my way towards E. M. Forster's 130 page novel about a woman who is forced to make a decision between marrying a wealthy man she will never love and a man of lower class who she knows she can be happy with. Funnily enough, I think it was this story's length that slightly let it down for me, had it been a longer book I'm su...more
April
This is the first book that I've just tipped over in love with in a long time.

Having seen the movie Howard's End, and knowing that E.M. Forster wrote in the late 19th/early 20th century, and having watched that episode of The Office where the Finer Things Club discussed this book, I fully expected it to be a dull, dry slog.

But it was not. It was a pleasure.

Lucy Honeychurch learns that the rules of society can--and sometimes should--be broken. She learns that she doesn't have to love a man just...more
Madeline
What happens in Florence, stays in Florence.

Unless this is the early 1900's and you're visiting the city with your annoying spinster cousin, then you kiss some boy in a field of violets for like two seconds and nobody ever lets you forget it. Jeez, people.

This is a brief, sweet little novel about Lucy Honeychurch (winner of the prestigious award for Most Adorable Name Ever), who goes to Florence with previously-mentioned spinster cousin. Despite lack of A ROOM WITH A VIEW, Lucy has a very nice...more
Maggie
Mar 11, 2008 Maggie rated it 1 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Jane Austen fans
I find comedies of manners and WASP dramas about one's place in society so tiring... last night we finally got a true plot development and I woke up a bit. I'm such a bad "girl" reader this way. Cue some action, PLEASE.

UPDATE: I can't keep reading this. Taking it off the bedside table. I am such a bad girl!
Ann
Oct 26, 2008 Ann rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Fans of Austen or Montgomery or Alcott
Recommended to Ann by: Katie!
What a beautiful story!
I really didn't know what to expect—would this be a character story, a philosophical one, a romance? It ended up being a lovely mix of all three. The story centers around Lucy, a young woman who realizes, for the first time, that she has ideas of her own. In other words, it's about Lucy learning how to make decisions for herself, and learning what she truly wants out of life.
The book is full of delightful characters and beautiful passages. Yet, Forster isn't above seeing t...more
Jason Koivu
Youth, love and time on your hands...whatever does one do with it all? What an upper class English lady of the early 20th century does with it is the basis for E.M. Forster's A Room with a View.

I expected more of a Death in Venice kind of languishing prose, but instead it felt, for the most part, more akin to Austen...except when it slipped into a borderline Bronte-esque melodrama. There was the snobbish principles and philosophy du jour as well as serious melancholy to be had in plenty, but to...more
Mosca
Jan 11, 2013 Mosca rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: cynical romantics
Recommended to Mosca by: E.M. Forster
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4 1/2 stars.

At first glance this book is simply a romance. At second glance is it a manifesto about romance? And if this is simply a romance, why does this old cynic love it so much?

But upon closer inspection there is more than one protagonist whose journey is being witnessed. And tonight, I can think of at least three characters who have grown significantly, in spite of themselves.

There appear at least two others who have changed significantly in ways that are left...more
Steven
Apr 20, 2008 Steven rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 1001
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Greg
The best. A masterpiece. Mr Emerson is a legend. E. M. Forster set the bar.

Expansive Review.

'could literature influence life?' asks A Room with a View.

England created a colony in North America, then left them to get on with it, leaving in place the foundational structures, like the rule of law, all explained by Niall Ferguson in the Reith Lectures http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01jmx0p The colony becomes the USA. George Orwell, with his uncanny prescience, predicted that the USA, being so inde...more
Regina
Reading this book as an adult had a much stronger effect on me than as a teenager. I am in awe of how many issues were addressed in this book, albeit subtlely . But remaining a truly funning and enjoyable read. Each page was a treat for mind.

A major theme running through "Room with a View" is the rigid social hierarchy and structure of Edwardian England society. Room was published in 1909, a society and world on the brink of major change. Political issues are hinted at in the book - unrest in I...more
Laura
Forster’s most delightful novel chronicles the awakening of Lucy Honeychurch, whose sojourn in Italy broadens her views, and ultimately her life, far beyond anyone’s expectations—not least of all her own! Forster draws the characters with precision, humor, and depth, from the spinsterish cousin Charlotte Bartlett to the priggish fiancé Cecil Vyse (“He was mediaeval. Like a Gothic statue.”). Many laugh-out-loud moments as Forster satirizes an Edwardian middle class desperately clinging to the las...more
Pollopicu
It's hard for me to believe this is considered a romance novel. It seemed like most of the time there were at least half a dozen people guarding Lucy's virtue. I don't understand how an author can take a character from one extreme to the next.
Up until the last chapter it was about Lucy Honeychurch asserting her independence as a young lady. She didn't seem at all interested in finding romance. She just wanted independence from her family. Lucy's character was flaky. She becomes engaged to Cecil,...more
Jo
I went into this book not really knowing what to expect, or to be more honest, I think I went into it expecting a romance. I had seen the movie when I was 11 or 12, so I had a vague recollection of passionate kisses in the bushes (that makes it sound so errotic, but it is really not at all--I wish it were.)

I have to say, I was slightly disappointed. It is a victorian-type novel that starts out in Italy with various characters, the main one being the love-interest, Lucy. She and the other charac...more
Trevor
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Capsguy
Certainly a different take than my first foray into Forster (The Machine Stops). I was expecting the stereotypical English romance novel, and was surprised at where this actually went. An excellent study into social conflicts at the time, a relatively complicated topic, and yet Forster managed to use relatively simple prose (but still retaining its beauty) to paint Lucy's internal struggle for the love between two men.

I'm not the biggest fan of novels dedicated to tales of love, especially when...more
Jonathan

A Room with a View is a solid romantic fiction, classified as a classic comedy of manners. However, when compared to other, similar romantic comedy classics like Pride and Prejudice, The Age of Innocence, Jane Eyre and The Importance of Being Earnest, it falls short on many levels. Perhaps that is the result of the book's simple subtlety and subversion of certain romance genre elements. Yet I feel that the book was far too much of a mixed bag tonally and thematically.

The tale follows the typical...more
Thomas
This is the romance that Forster had to write: the one that he could get published and sell lots of, without abandoning his progressive principles. Bourgeois girl attempts to pick a suitor who isn't evil; learns how to self-advocate.

However, it's boring. That, and the author is swinging outside of his wheelhouse.

"Maurice," on the other hand, is the romance that Forster was born to write: he tackles classism and homophobia square-on. The book resolves exactly as it should, and he doesn't pull any...more
Jo
After an unfortunate incident with A Passage to India (I left reading it until the last minute because I found it so dull and tedious when I had to read it at university and it almost resulted in my failing of a module), I have been reluctant to return to the works of E. M. Forster.

If there is one thing I learnt from this incident it is this: Don’t leave your essays until the last minute, kids!

But I believe I was suitably punished for my flippant attitude towards my degree because my self-impo...more
Christy B
A great Edwardian romantic comedy exploring the different steps of the social ladder. Taking place, first, in a pension in Italy and later in Surrey, England.

Lucy Honeychurch is on vacation in Florence with her cousin. Staying in an Italian pension, they come across a row of interesting characters. She finds herself drawn to a young man, George Emerson, who is definitely not suited for a girl like her and his father is entirely too odd.

The story is Lucy's fight within herself: does she go agains...more
Anastasia
Io non capisco i diversi pareri negativi su questo libro.

Per me è adorabile. Certo, non una storia straordinaria che si imprime profondamente, ma sicuramente una lettura piacevole. Avete presente la cagnetta di compagnia nei momenti di solitudine? Ecco, la sensazione è uguale. Non c'è un amore sconfinato tra me e il libro, ma è talmente tanto piacevole che due carezzine in questa recensione gliele faccio sicuramente, e sarà ricordato come una sorta di piccolo raggio di sole anche nel futuro (ven...more
Judy
In a nutshell, this is the story of Lucy Honeychurch who has the option of marrying well or marrying happily. It seems a rather tired, worn-out plot to me. As with A Passage to India, its a nice story, but nothing exceptional.

One unusual thing I liked about this story, was that when Lucy broke off the engagement Cecil actually saw himself as he appeared to others. I wasn't expecting someone as stuck on himself as Cecil to be capable of seeing the truth about himself. Mr. Emerson was a different...more
MichelleCH
Eh gads - a time when unbecoming behavior was such a big deal. A slowly unfolding story of a young woman, Lucy Honeychurch, traveling through Italy (with a chaperone, of course) who encounters an unconventional and socially unacceptable father and son. The pair, Mr. Emerson and George, appeal to Lucy and she finds their views on life/love unrestrained and more real than what society prescribes. Back in England Lucy encounters the Emersons once again but this time as an engaged young woman. I lov...more
Kathryn
I've read this book twice now and absolutely loved it both times! It is a gorgeous, heart-full story about a young lady discovering herself beyond the realms of what "society" dictates, learning to follow her own heart, finding love. The characters are magnificently drawn. The style is so exquisite, like poetry, even, sometimes. A strong emotion, a deep connection with humanity and its foibles and glories, is palpable. Yet, for all the depth, the probing into the foils of society and the freedom...more
Amy
Apr 09, 2008 Amy rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: dandies, fops, women of means
I finally got around to reading this book, and I'll admit it was a challenge not just playing the movie along in my head the whole time. Happily, it's an enjoyable read in its own right. Forster's prose is playful and wise and surprisingly relevant to the 21st Century -- Cecil Vyse may be the first literary character who enjoys popular culture ironically, who is utterly exhausted by the hard work of constant scorn, and he lives on in every sneering hipster in a trucker hat.

This book made me wan...more
Lavinia
"A Room with a View" was one of my favourite films as a teenager, as well as most Merchant-Ivory productions. I saw it on TV one night, then caught the next day rerun and watched it a few more times over the years. I obviously fell for Julian Sands at first, but then I came to love most of the the other characters (to this day I cannot accept Helena Bonham Carter as Lucy and cannot despise Cecil, simply because Daniel Day-Lewis is beyond magnificence).

Reading the book I realised one thing. I pre...more
Joshua
I like the story he's crafted and the characters he's populated it with, but his writing leaves something to be desired at times. Some brilliance does shine through though. Through dialogue mostly. A wonderful example of this is this quote by George Emerson: "It is Fate that I am here. But you can call it Italy if it makes you less unhappy." I love that quote. Another highlight is the conversation between Cecil and Lucy wherein Cecil explains that when he thinks of her he thinks of a view, and w...more
Michelle
Having been unimpressed with "A Passage to India," I wasn't expecting too much from this Forster novel. I was tickled to be proved wrong. The plot is interesting, the language is "clever," and the philosophy is respectfully thoughtful and ridiculous. However, what really makes the novel great is the author-reader relationship. From the opening pages the narrator/author is openly aware of his audience. He mocks, pities, pokes at, and exposes his own characters, at the same time rendering each one...more
James
A Room with a View is my second Forster novel and possibly my favorite of the pair. This was obviously written by a young man who’d long cultivated an ironic disposition towards the stuffy practices of Edwardian society. This is also a work that espouses a very tender vision of liberalism, possibly not so much in earnest but in hopes of resonating (as it does very fetchingly now) with future generations, who might look back and wonder over those heavy, laborious postures of their ancestors, and...more
Caoimhe
Aug 20, 2008 Caoimhe rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: anyone 14 years or older
I read this whilst on holiday in Tuscany, as I thought it perfect for the setting. I loved it, but for me the book is inseparable from the fantastic 1985 film adaptation by Merchant-Ivory. In this case I would actually recommend seeing the film before reading the book; especially if you have never been to Italy before. It was a bonus to have an image of the characters and settings in my head to refer to beforehand and the film brought the real potential drama of the book out. On a straightforwar...more
Lee Foust
Here's another novel that I read as fodder for my literary column in Florence News and Events, our local Florentine English-language monthly paper. Any suggestions/criticisms before we go to press?



Revisiting Forster's Florence: charmingly misanthropic satire


One hundred and five years after the publishing of A Room with a View... Florence, Anglo-Saxon tourists, illogical and unhealthy social norms, and even walks in the violet-bestrewn hills between Settignano and Fiesole are still with us. Gone...more
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All About Books: 'A Room With a View' (Leslie and Laura) 32 42 Oct 14, 2013 06:28AM  
Around the World ...: Discussion for A Room with a View 23 75 Sep 24, 2013 12:57AM  
Ending 3 73 Sep 16, 2013 10:53PM  
Is this like Jane Austen? 19 134 Sep 11, 2013 02:18PM  
A romance? Really? 7 68 Aug 09, 2013 07:39AM  
Booksellers NZ 20...: Have you started yet? 11 12 May 13, 2013 07:57PM  
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Edward Morgan Forster, "E.M.", was an English novelist, short story writer, and essayist. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. His humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy may be aptly summed up in the epigraph to his 1910 novel Howards End: "Only connect".

He had five novels published in...more
More about E.M. Forster...
Howards End A Passage to India Maurice Where Angels Fear to Tread The Machine Stops

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“It isn't possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.” 3191 likes
“When I think of what life is, and how seldom love is answered by love; it is one of the moments for which the world was made.” 156 likes
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