Reads: A Room With A View1:44 PM
A novel about a young woman in the repressed culture of Edwardian era England? Count me in! A Room With a View is not unlike a standard song by The Smiths; a light and seemingly fun story, hiding more serious themes. It is a Bridget Jones-esque story of a young woman torn between two love interests, but also being emotionally and physically sheltered by those around her.
Plot: Lucy Honeychurch is touring Italy with her overbearing older cousin and chaperone, Charlotte Bartlett. They meet a Mr. Emerson and his son, who are straight-forward and a little blunt, causing Charlotte to have an immediate dislike for them. Lucy likes them, and continues to spend time with them in Italy, but is confused over her feelings for the younger Emerson. In the second part of the novel, Lucy is back at home in England and newly engaged to another man, Cecil Vyse. Although most of her family are not overly fond of Cecil, they agree that he is a good "match" for Lucy by social standpoint. However, the Emerson's re-enter the Honeychurch's lives as they come to stay close-by in England. Lucy struggles with her inner feelings for the two young men in her life, as well as being influenced by close friends and family.
What I liked about this novel was Forester's overly-blunt opinions of English society during this time period. Not only are there issues of class to be dealt with here, as the Emerson's are at a different class level than the Honeychurches and Cecil Vyse, but there are social and gender issues to be dealt with as well. When Lucy expresses a concern, members of her family don't take her seriously simply because she is an 'emotional young woman'. Several times throughout the novel she has an adult male family friend speak on her behalf, simply because he is a male and therefore, must be correct. When Lucy makes decisions that are unconventional, her family inwardly agrees that her decisions are the best, but because they are socially frowned upon, they disagree with her, while the whole time, the narrator blatantly states why this is wrong.
I am currently reading four different books, so hopefully that will add some variety to these posts as I have been on a classic-kick as of late (damn you Rory Gilmore book list!). However, I highly recommend reading a classic novel outside of school requirements, even if it is one you've already read. Now I get to try to con Kyle into watching the movie, huzzah!