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A Room with a View
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Archive 2016 Group Reads > June 2016 → July 2016 - A Room with a View by EM Forster

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message 1: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (last edited Jun 15, 2016 09:28AM) (new)

Lesle | 5590 comments Mod
One of E. M. Forster's most celebrated novels, A Room With a View is the story about Lucy Honeychurch, a young upper middle class woman, visits Italy under the charge of her older cousin Charlotte. At their pension, or guesthouse, in Florence, they are given rooms that look into the courtyard rather than out over the river Arno.


message 2: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (last edited Jun 17, 2016 07:32PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosemarie | 8269 comments Mod
The pension is called The Bertolini and all the guests are British, with the usual British attitude of the time to what is considered "proper behaviour". One of the characters, Mr. Beebe, a clergyman, makes the following statement about a fellow guest who would be happy to switch rooms with her so she could get a view.

"He is rather a peculiar man........ I think he would not take advantage of your acceptance, nor expect you to show gratitude. He has the merit-if it is one-of saying exactly what he means........
It is so difficult- at least, I find it difficult- to understand people who speak the truth."

What does this tell us of the British society of the time? Remember, this was spoken by a member of the clergy.


message 3: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosemarie | 8269 comments Mod
The word that is missing from the quote is " truth".


message 4: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosemarie | 8269 comments Mod
I have just finished the section which takes place in Florence. Are there any characters you find annoying? Or sympathetic? Or interesting?
If anyone has comments or questions about the book, please feel free to share them with the group.


message 5: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosemarie | 8269 comments Mod
I do not know if anyone has started reading the book yet, but if you decide to read it you are in for a treat. This is Forster's most cheerful book and most delightful heroine-Lucy.


Robin Bo (robideg) I read this years ago and didn't like it at all!

I was not engaged in any way shape or form with the story or characters and actually found them a bit humdrum.

That being said, I am a firm believer that reasons for liking/not liking a novel have a lot to do with where you are in life at your time of reading.

I certainly wouldn't discourage anyone from reading this. I do tend to find I'm in the minority when I say I didn't like it.


message 7: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosemarie | 8269 comments Mod
Robin Bo, you are so right when you say that how you respond to a novel depends a lot in where you are in your life, your circumstances, your mood and even on the book you just finished reading before that one.
There are some books that other people love that I can't get into. In my case it was The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.
I enjoyed this book more the second time around because I paid more attention to the details. The first time I thought it was okay, but that was over 20 years ago, so I have really changed in that time period. I am retired now, so my stress level is much lower than when I was working as a middle school substitute teacher.

Have you any of our members read any other Forster books? The book I really didn't like was Howard's End. It was one of those books who reallly don't have a proper ending and no likable characters.
I enjoyed A Room with a View. The timing for reading it was just right in my case.

Thank you for sharing your opinion, Robin Bo. Maybe it will encourage other members in the group to share their opinions--positive or negative or in- between.


message 8: by Bookworm (new) - added it

Bookworm | 24 comments I really want to read this, but I can't find a copy near me! Even with library-loan; they have the movie, but no books.


message 9: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosemarie | 8269 comments Mod
That is a real shame. You think a library would have it, since Forster is an important writer of the 20th century. Is there any way you could read it as an e-book?


Kathy | 1185 comments I read A Room with a View for another challenge I'm doing this year and really enjoyed it. What I really liked was the setting in Florence with Forster's descriptions of places Lucy and her group visited.


message 11: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosemarie | 8269 comments Mod
I liked the part when she first went into church of Santa Croce. I actually googled the site to see what it was like. It is big and beautiful inside.


message 12: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5590 comments Mod
Bookworm wrote: "I really want to read this, but I can't find a copy near me! Even with library-loan; they have the movie, but no books."

You can read it on the goodreads home page for A Room with a View for free!
Clink on this link and below where it says "Want to Read" click on read book.


message 13: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosemarie | 8269 comments Mod
Thanks for the info, Lesle. I reallly liked this book the second time around and I hope that others get a chance to read it, if they are interested in it.


Latoya  | 55 comments I am going to start this week!


message 15: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosemarie | 8269 comments Mod
I hope that all of you with book issues have had a chance to get a copy of this book. After rereading it this month, I now know that it is my favourite E.M. Forster book. Some parts of it are funny and I like the heroine.


message 16: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan | 18 comments I really like this book, although I don't think much of Lucy. For one thing, I used to live in Florence and really miss it, so the first section reminds me of my old neighborhood there. But the send-ups of some of the characters are really amusing. Charlotte, for example, is just unbearable with her poor-little-me attempts to manipulate the people around her. And Eleanor talking about how much she admires the Italians while at the same time belittling them. They're over-the-top caricatures.


message 17: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosemarie | 8269 comments Mod
I really didn't like Charlotte either. She did seem to get her own way most of the time, didn't she?


Latoya  | 55 comments Bookworm wrote: "I really want to read this, but I can't find a copy near me! Even with library-loan; they have the movie, but no books."

Did you try Librovox or youtube for the audiobook, or do a search online it may be a free ebook! Most classics are. Im in NY so I use NYPL and Overdrive to listen to audiobooks or ebooks.


Latoya  | 55 comments LMAO! So far so good. The movie is good too.


message 20: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosemarie | 8269 comments Mod
I just checked and this book is available on Project Gutenberg in various formats, for those of you who are having trouble finding the book.


Latoya  | 55 comments I cant believe ppl in these times didnt die of strokes and heart attacks. The stress of being "very proper", and having "the right society" is overwhelming.


message 22: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosemarie | 8269 comments Mod
Charlotte was overbearing and controlling in a passive-aggressive way towards Lucy, wasn't she?


Latoya  | 55 comments Yes but I felt for Charlotte, when you feel you are indebted to someone that puts you in an uncompromising position.

She is basically being financially supported by Lucy's mother, and she receives this support by cuddling her neice and nephew.

Lucy's mother is right Lucy is picking up some of Charlotte snobby, weak ways.


Latoya  | 55 comments Rosemarie wrote: "Charlotte was overbearing and controlling in a passive-aggressive way towards Lucy, wasn't she?"

Oh NO I had the Abridged audiobook:(. I knew it ended abruptly.


message 25: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosemarie | 8269 comments Mod
V, I do hope you get the full version, because it has a really good ending.


Latoya  | 55 comments Yes I'm listening to the unabridged version now.

The abridged version cuts Cecil's chapter!

I like Cecil at least he's honest!


message 27: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosemarie | 8269 comments Mod
I am so glad you have the whole version now. The book is not that long, so why is there an abridged version?


Latoya  | 55 comments I know! It skipped Cecil's chapter and Lucy and Edward's courtship which is important! Sigh.


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