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A Room with a View
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message 1: by Diane , Armchair Tour Guide (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane  | 12949 comments Start discussion here for A Room with a View by E.M. Forster.


Lisa (lisadannatt) Started this this morning. Reached chapter 3. It's beautiful. My husband and I were in Florence for 4 days in 2010. I can picture and smell the Arno River (it's a unique, not unpleasant musty watery smell) hear the bustle and feel the excitement. We also went to Santa Croche, without a guide book, and wondered around with the small guide they give you at the door, soaking up all the beauty.


message 3: by Diane , Armchair Tour Guide (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane  | 12949 comments This is one of my all-time favorite books.


Esther (nyctale) | 108 comments I listened to it in audio. While I reconize it is a good book in this niche, it is not my cup of tea.


Annina | 139 comments I read this couple months ago. I also liked very much that Florence part of the book. I was in Florence in 2009 and I could remember places from there, as I was reading this book.


Kirsten  (kmcripn) I started reading this this morning. I just love the language and the atmosphere of the book. I had never read any Forster before (shocking, isn't it?), but I will certainly correct that oversight.

I love the "too much Beethoven". LOL!! Not a bad thing to have!!


message 7: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy | 49 comments This is my first Forster as well and I am almost finished. But it's not exciting/intriguing me. And all the comments regarding women and how they should be guided and protected are adding to my ire. I was reading in the intro to my book that this was a bit intentional and tongue in cheek but I am not seeing the humor.


Nancy H | 838 comments I thought I would like this book much more than I did, even though I absolutely love the city of Florence and it did take me back there in atmosphere. I really wasn't impressed with the book in the beginning, but by the end I was hooked and liked the second half much better than the first.


Kirsten  (kmcripn) Amy wrote: "This is my first Forster as well and I am almost finished. But it's not exciting/intriguing me. And all the comments regarding women and how they should be guided and protected are adding to my ire..."

What really fires my ire is Cecil! I keep on thinking someone should shove him in a lake or something.


message 10: by Dan (last edited Sep 13, 2013 02:00AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Scheffler (DanScheffler) | 25 comments Kirsten wrote: "Amy wrote: "This is my first Forster as well and I am almost finished. But it's not exciting/intriguing me. And all the comments regarding women and how they should be guided and protected are addi..."

I think that is exactly what the author wanted you to feel. My feeling is that the comments about women are designed to demonstrate the nature of the characters who make them. They are not very likeable people and Lucy does not like them either. I think the "pay-off" for this comes towards the end of the story. (I am 60% through the book, but I watched the film a few years ago.)

But I'm also finding the book pretty hard going.


message 11: by Amy (last edited Sep 13, 2013 09:08AM) (new) - added it

Amy | 49 comments I've just finished and I do agree with you, Kirsten. The author was trying to prove a point (and my god did it work). But the ending was not satisfactory. I don't know how to hide a spoiler so all I will say is that I would have appreciated a little bit more explanation about Lucy's fate. The appendix was an appreciated "extra chapter" but if we are examining the society of the time I would have liked to hear more about their reactions to Lucy's decision.


message 12: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) I'm reading fairly slowly. Agree that the comments about protecting women are meant to provoke ire and thought.
The kiss among the violets in Italy has a subtle sensuality to it. The scandal is something unbelievable. This would pass without incident in today's society. I'm torn between deciding if we are now more liberated or more trapped.


message 13: by Dan (last edited Sep 15, 2013 05:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Scheffler (DanScheffler) | 25 comments The book was a bit of a slow read, but now that I've finished it and I think back on it, I find that there are many little truths in the story (or at least sayings that I can identify with).

I think this one sums up the theme that appealed to me the most, that we are here in this life to learn and that we will make mistakes in the process, but that we have to carry on regardless: "'Life' wrote a friend of mine, 'is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along.'"

To comment on Lisa's remarks about whether society is more liberated or more trapped now, I think people are just the same now as then. Social conventions may have changed, but at heart people are people. We still struggle to distinguish right from wrong and to find the truth. People still stare themselves blind against sensational things, such as whether or not somebody was kissed (imagine that kiss happened to some celebrity today and that the paparazzi photographed them) and they pay no attention to what is really important. Like Mr. Beebe says: "It is so difficult - at least, I find it difficult - to understand people who speak the truth."


message 14: by R.L. (new) - rated it 4 stars

R.L. Stedman | 21 comments I am really enjoying the comments on this thread. There are so many aspects to this story its impossible to seize on just one, especially when one overlays on it that it took Forster so long to write it.

It's my favourite Forster novel by miles - I love the depth of his characters.

Once, I met a girl called Charlotte Bartlett. How could anyone do that to their child?


Kirsten  (kmcripn) R.L. wrote: "I am really enjoying the comments on this thread. There are so many aspects to this story its impossible to seize on just one, especially when one overlays on it that it took Forster so long to wri..."

This is my first Forster novel. Though I have watched the movie adaptation of his India novel. I have to say I am enjoying it far more than I thought I would.


message 16: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) @ RL LoL
@ Dan: I'm less sure, I think we perceive ourselves as freer but have actually trapped ourselves in some ways. I'm thinking about celebrities trying to out- do each other with shock factor (Think Miley's wrecking ball); young, impressionable people see this lifestyle and follow suit, independent thought is not always encouraged.
I was also thinking about that shame that Lucy feels, this would unlikely be felt today and speaks to the freedom of women (or perceived freedom?).
So I still think we both have more freedom, but are still trapped.
Maybe we are speaking about the same thing in different ways.


message 17: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) Finished!
My edition did not have the additions.
I liked the ending, the story felt circular, the characters had grown and earned a happy reprieve. My guess is that no- one will be unhappy with them for long.


Kirsten  (kmcripn) I finished this last night. I really enjoyed this book and am definitely going to read another book by this author. He reminded me of Austen in some ways.

One thing I did notice. Cecil seemed to learn from his mistakes. I can't remember that ever happening in an Austen novel.


message 19: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Scheffler (DanScheffler) | 25 comments Lisa wrote: "@ RL LoL
@ Dan: I'm less sure, I think we perceive ourselves as freer but have actually trapped ourselves in some ways. I'm thinking about celebrities trying to out- do each other with shock factor..."

I think our perceived freedom is determined to a large extent by how much we are influenced by other people's opinions of us. If you don't care what other people think, you are much more free. But if society brands you as someone with lesser morals and ostracises you as a result, then I suppose your freedom is indeed reduced, especially if you are looking for a husband, like somone in Lucy's position. So, actually I think women are more free today than then.


message 20: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) @ Dan, again, it would depend which population of women you are speaking about. Largely, that freedom affects western society alone. I don't think society has progressed as much as we would like to believe.


message 21: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) Anyway, difference in opinions aside, it's a lovely book with genuine characters and good humor.


message 22: by Dan (last edited Sep 24, 2013 12:55AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Scheffler (DanScheffler) | 25 comments Lisa wrote: "Anyway, difference in opinions aside, it's a lovely book with genuine characters and good humor."
You are right, this only pertains to Western society. Most of the world is very different. Take my country, South Africa. We have liberal laws concerning women's rights, but enforcing them is very difficult and many women are at a disadvantage because of their gender.

In the end I think we do largely agree on this issue and it's a good thing that the book highlighted it.


message 23: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa (lisadannatt) @ Dan LOL I'm also South African, a doctor. Worked around the country in my Zuma- years so agree about how women's rights are chartered but not practiced.
It's a good book, with a message that I think is still relevant.


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