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A Room with a View

E. M. Forster

Book Overview: 

When Lucy Honeychurch travels to Italy with her cousin, she meets George Emerson, a bohemian and an atheist who falls in love with her. Upon her return to England, she is forced to choose between free-spirited George and her more conventional fiancé, Cecil Vyse. The story is both a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Then something did happen.

Two Italians by the Loggia had been bickering about a debt. "Cinque lire," they had cried, "cinque lire!" They sparred at each other, and one of them was hit lightly upon the chest. He frowned; he bent towards Lucy with a look of interest, as if he had an important message for her. He opened his lips to deliver it, and a stream of red came out between them and trickled down his unshaven chin.

That was all. A crowd rose out of the dusk. It hid this extraordinary man from her, and bore him away to the fountain. Mr. George Emerson happened to be a few paces away, looking at her across the spot where the man had been. How very odd! Across something. Even as she caught sight of him he grew dim; the palace itself grew dim, swayed above her, fell on to her softly, slowly, noiselessly, and the sky fell with it.

She thought: "Oh, what have I done?"

"Oh, what have I done?" she murmured, and opened her eyes. Read More

Community Reviews

I'm a sucker for a sweet, kind-hearted, naïve and sheltered heroine. Especially when they slowly learn how to be brave. So this book was perfect for me to read.

Lucy Honeychurch (how's that for a name) is a sheltered young Englishwoman in 1908. She lives with her mother and little brother Freddy....more

The Pensione (pension) Bertolini, in Florence, Italy, has everything for the visiting tourists, Miss Lucy Honeychurch and her older, poorer cousin, Charlotte Bartlett, a rather overbearing chaperon, fine food, (not really) wines not too bad, this is Italy and a room with a view. Unfortunately not...more

Romantic comedy this is not. The rosiness of a woman stumbling upon convenient fantasy fulfillment by marrying into privilege and bourgeois wealth do not tinge the themes of this classic. Rather this aspires to the novelty of a sort of female bildungsroman. A woman who is roused into the acknowle...more

I was overjoyed to discover that this book I had liked when I was in high school was even more charming and lovely than I remembered.

I'm not sure what impelled me to suddenly reread this novel about a young Englishwoman, Lucy Honeychurch, whose life is transformed after she visits Italy, but I'm...more

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...more

Edwardian-era propriety meets Italian passion with entertaining results in E.M. Forster’s sunny, slight, but ever so charming comedy of manners.

Well-known from the sumptuous Merchant-Ivory adaptation (which I rewatched immediately after finishing the book), the novel tells the story of Lucy Hone...more

Considered by many to be Forster's sunny day, and most optimistic novel, would start off in Italy, an Inn in Florence to be precise. Two sweet Edwardian females, Miss Lucy Honeychurch (adorable name) and her cousin, Charlotte the chaperone have a bit of a dilemma whilst holidaying, the silly Inn...more

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 abou...more

Love is in the air--or maybe anxiously repressed--in February and my romantic literature jag begins with A Room with a View, the 1908 novel by E.M. Forster. Like a candy store, this book offers a bounty of treats that I found irresistible. There's a holiday in Italy. There's a boarding house with...more

4.5 stars

"Italians are born knowing the way. It would seem that the whole earth lay before them, not as a map, but as a chess-board, whereon they continually behold the changing pieces as well as the squares. Any one can find places, but the finding of people is a gift from God."

Ah, there is noth...more

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