Captain Tuttle’s #CBR4 Review #18 – A Room With a View by E.M. Forster
I read this book after I saw the movie. Ok, full disclosure: I didn’t know there was a book. How embarrassing. The good thing about it, though, is that whenever I read this book (which is about once a year), I see Julian Sands, Daniel Day Lewis, Crazypants Bonham-Carter, and (swoon) Rupert Graves in my head. I don’t even need the DVD (which I also own).
The story opens in Florence, a city I’ve never been to, but I feel like I know, because of Forster’s descriptions. Lucy Honeychurch and her maiden cousin Charlotte Bartlett are in the Pensione Bertolini, run by the cockney signora, and are not happy with their rooms. They were promised “a view” of the Duomo, but didn’t get it. Lucy mentions this at a meal with the others staying at the pensione (a motley collection of Brits), and a father and son offer to change rooms with them. This is shocking (shocking!) to some of the ladies, although Lucy is all for it, since she really wants a view. Lucy runs into the father and son (Mr. and George Emerson) a few times, wanders Florence, gets peevish, plays Beethoven, and drives out in carriages with a bunch of the pensione residents and the Reverend Mr. Eager. Things happen. Big things.
Because of the big things, Lucy and Charlotte leave the pensione, and head to Rome, where they meet Cecil Vyse and his mother. We don’t get to see this part, unfortunately. I’d be curious to see what Forster made of those early encounters between Lucy and Cecil. However, we next meet Lucy back home at Windy Corner, in Surrey. Cecil is visiting, and he asks Lucy to marry him. This leads to one of my favourite scenes in the movie (“I promessi sposi,” said he. They stared at him anxiously. “She has accepted me,” he said). The rest of the story is about Lucy, her muddles, tacky novels, and true love. Will Lucy end up with the right man? Well, of course.
Also of course – I recommend this book with all my heart and soul. If you haven’t, please read it. You’ll fall in love with Lucy, George, Freddy, and even Cecil a little bit (just at the end).