Friday, 9 June 2017

Review: A Room with a View

Title: A Room with a View
Author: E.M. Forster

Blurb:

Lucy 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. Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, curious Mr Emerson and, most of all, his passionate son George.
Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally dull fiancé Cecil Vyse. Will she ever learn to follow her own heart?

(Taken from Goodreads


My Review:

A Room with a View is the book I currently study for A Level English Literature and I am incredibly glad I do. The story follows Lucy Honeychurch on a journey of self-recovery and independence (without trying to sound cliche) as she travels to Florence in Italy.
Up until now, Lucy has lived a rather sheltered and relatively middle-class lifestyle, with emphasis being on convention and tradition, however, Lucy appears to want more. Whilst in Italy, she meets the Emersons - Mr Emerson who is honest and shares his pearls of wisdom -and his son George - a thoughtful and rather sorrowful boy who changes Lucy and her world of convention.

George and Mr Emerson try and encourage Lucy to think for herself and to neglect her ideas of convention, something which, slowly, throughout the novel, Lucy begins to do. She starts to see the value in what truly matters - love, people, nature and not just what society and her pushy cousin, Charlotte, deem as appropriate for a girl of her age.

However, Lucy is not completely taken in by the Emerson's and she makes a huge mistake by marrying the incredibly judgemental and pretentious Cecil Vyse. She bows down to society's traditions and seemingly settles for a life of dullness and Cecil constantly putting her down. But, George is not far away as Lucy and Cecil move into the same neighbourhood - George tells her how he feels and that Cecil is not right for her, but, does she go with her heart? Or has society got too strong a grip on her?

Although a relatively old book, the way it is written is not laborious or long. Instead, I found that Forster writes in a way that really draws you into the characters and their emotions. There are so many aphoristic tendencies throughout the novel, with a multitude of phrases and quotes to live your life by. Forster draws the readers attention to what should matter in life, the beauty of love and nature and how we should not be tied to tradition.

Overall, Forster focuses on themes such as society and class, beauty, nature, education, independence and, of course, love. I feel as though everyone could take something away from this novel and it's something which I encourage everyone to read. Although a classic, it is written in a way that is so easy to follow that you would be a fool not to appreciate Forster's talents.