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.