Book Review – A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E M Forster

A Room With A View Synopsis

A Room With A View by E M ForsterLucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally dull fiance Cecil Vyse. (The Nile – Australia)


E M Forster’s A Room With A View is a bonafide classic that has been critically reviewed by greater literary minds than I, so here I will just briefly summarise my thoughts.

I always enjoy comedies of manners, and A Room With  A View fits that bill. E M Forster takes great delight at making fun of his characters and there are instance where the characters even make fun of themselves.

Cecil, who naturally preferred congratulations to apologies, drew down his mouth at the corners. Was this the reception his action would get from the world? Of course, he despised the world as a whole; every thoughtful man should; it is almost a test of refinement. But he was sensitive to the successive particles of it which he encountered.

Many classics are heavy reads but E M Forster’s A Room With A View has a refreshing current of irreverence running through it and some lively characters that will appeal to a modern audience.

At the time of its publication, 1908, I expect some of the observations made about societal norms would have been quite shocking. I also quite liked how E M Forster addressed the reader directly on occasion – it brings the reader into the mockery.

My slight criticisms would be that certain parts were slightly laboured through my eyes as a contemporary reader and although I thoroughly enjoyed the romantic and uplifting conclusion, I guessed some of the plot twists before they occurred. But perhaps I was supposed to, was that the point?

Apparently in some versions of the novel an appendix penned by Forster is included describing what happens to the characters after the book ends. My copy did not include the appendix but I found a summary on Wikipedia. I am not sure why Forster wrote this appendix to the novel, it seems like a bit of a downer after the wonderful conclusion to the novel itself.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5

BOOK DETAILS: A Room With A View (Amazon); A Room With A View (B&N); A Room With A View (The Nile – Australia)

Genre: Romance, Drama, Humour, Historical, Classic, Literature

Author Information: Edward Morgan Forster was born in London in 1879. He studied at King’s College, Cambridge. Forster wrote six novels, four of which appeared before the First World War, Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907), A Room with a View (1908) and Howard’s End (1910). An interval of fourteen years elapsed before he published A Passage to India. It won both the Prix Femina Vie Heuruse and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. E. M. Forster died in 1970. His last novel, Maurice, was published posthumously in 1971. He also published two volumes of short stories and a number of non-fiction books.

Other reviews of A Room With A View: The Compulsive Reader ; Blog a Penguin Classic ; Emilyn Chand

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  1. says

    Ive only ever seen film or TV versions of this but I love Lucy and all the versions Ive seen have been quite funny, not roll around laughing funny but more gentle humour.

  2. says

    Now where did I put my copy of this book? I got it years ago after seeing the movie but, for some reason, never got around to it. Sounds like I need to remedy that soon!

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