December 04, 2008

A Room With A View - E. M. Forster

I have started A Room With A View several times and have never finished it before but for some reason on this reading of it I didn't even want it to end I was enjoying it so much! I think that says a lot for reading the right book at the right time and in the right circumstances.

A Room With A View was my third book read for the Classics Challenge, I had recently watched a 2007 TV production of the novel and I absolutely loved it - much more than the Merchant Ivory film that came out a while ago - and I think this prompted me to pick up the book again.

The book tells the story of Lucy Honeychurch, a young English woman on her first trip to Italy with her obsessive and suffocating cousin, Charlotte. Whilst staying at a Pensione in Florence Lucy and Charlotte become acquainted with several other tourists, among them a Mr Emerson and his son, George.

The scenes of the book that are set in Italy are just beautiful;

From her feet the ground sloped sharply into the view, and violets ran down in rivulets and streams and cataracts, irrigating the hillside with blude, eddying round the tree stems, colecting into pools in the hollows, covering the grass with spots of azure foam

And the room with the view itself;

It was pleasant to wake up in Florence, to open the eyes upon a bright bare room, with a floor of red tiles which look clean though they are not; with a painted ceiling whereon pink griffins and blue amorini sport in a forest of yellow violins and bassoons. It was pleasant, too, to fling wide the windows, pinching the fingers in unfamiliar fastenings, to lean out into the sunshine with beautiful hills and trees and marble churches opposite, and, close below, the Arno, gurgling against the embankment of the road.

After the trip to Italy Lucy returns home to England and becomes engaged to a man whom everyone approves of but who nobody likes, even though her affections are clearly still with another.

A Room With A View is a beautiful, funny and engaging story - I'm so glad I took the time to get through it this time as it has now become one of my favourite books.


Sarah said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this, as it's a favourite of mine. Personally though, I prefer the Merchant Ivory film over the recent adaption, which I hated.

I don't know if you've read any other Forster, but I would recommend each novel to you, especially Howard's End.

nutmeg said...

I'll have to mimic Sarah and recommend Howard's End as well. I got so much out of reading that book last year.

As per usual I want to read the book before I see the film of A Room With A View and as such have not read this one yet. I am pretty sure I will get to this one next year.

And as to your question regarding other Lionel Shriver books - no I have only read the Kevin book but I did purchase a copy of The Post Birthday World and will get to it one day ;-)

Karen said...

Hi Sarah - isn't it funny how two people can really love the book but then have completely different views about 2 different film versions?! I can't even pinpoint what it is I loved about the recent film version - it just seemed to click for me. I will definitely move onto Howard's End next - thanks!
Hi Nutmeg - Ditto with Howard's End! I think I will pick up that Lionel Shriver book too - it will be interesting to hear what both of us think of it.

Laurel Ann (Austenprose) said...

I love this book too, though I disagree about the 2007 ITV production being better than the Merchant Ivory one. Just personal perference I think, but I consider it one of my top 20 movie classic favorites.

Cheers, Laurel Ann

Karen said...

Hi Laurel Ann - it definitely is personal preference but I think I am in the minority on this one!

Stephanie said...

This is one I'VE picked up three or four times and never finished! I've actually been thinking about picking this up again in the New Year. Thanks for the reminder. :)