Friday, May 17, 2019

"A Room with a View" by E. M. Forster (yet again)

I've read this book twice before.  And I am happy to report that I loved it the third time through as well.  Just a delightful, compact, nuanced little story!

What's really interesting to me is how, when I reread books, I often glom onto a different character to pay attention to.  Different from the last times I read it, I mean.  This time through, I found Mr. Beebe very intriguing.  He's got a lot of wisdom and understanding, but he's also almost childish sometimes.  Like how he's totally bored by Lucy as soon as she's engaged to the right person.  It's an interesting combination.  Also, I love this about him:  "It was one of Mr. Beebe's chief pleasures to provide people with happy memories" (p. 30).  How can I not like such a person?

But, as always, what I love most about this book is how Lucy grows and changes.  She goes from a somewhat spoiled, drifting girl to a woman capable of making her own decisions, even when they're unpopular.  She rises out of her aimless flounderings, finding direction and purpose for her life.  And she doesn't marry one of the most boring, annoying, pushy characters since Jane Austen's Mr. Collins, for which I am always grateful.

And, once again, I chuckled aloud many times over the little absurdities and foibles that Forster points out so amusingly.

And I still really love Freddy.

(From my Instagram)

Particularly Good Bits:

"It is so difficult -- at least, I find it difficult -- to understand people who speak the truth" (p. 7).

"One doesn't come to Italy for niceness," was the retort; "one comes for life" (p. 14).

"Pull out from the depths those thoughts you do not understand, and spread them out in the sunlight and know the meaning of them" (p. 21).

Lucy never knew her desires so clearly as after music (p. 31).

...she was accustomed to have her thoughts confirmed by others or, at all events, contradicted; it was too dreadful not to know whether she was thinking right or wrong (p. 37).

Freddy possessed to a high degree the power of lashing little girls to fury, and in half a minute he had transformed Minnie from a well-mannered child into a howling wilderness (p. 91).

Secrecy has this disadvantage: we lose the sense of proportion; we cannot tell whether our secret is important or not (p. 98).

(I listed many other favorite lines the first and second times I read and reviewed this as well.)

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG for a bunch of grown men skinny-dipping in a pond and getting caught.

This is my 33rd book read and reviewed for my second go-'round with the Classics Club.


  1. Yes! I love this one! I do the same...with each reread, different characters stand out to me.

    Originally, I thought of Beebe as an insignificant character (for me), but obviously he was necessary. Maybe I will see how next time.

    Have you seen the 1985 film version?

    1. Ruth, I thought of him that way too, but this time, he really came to the fore for me :-)

      I saw the 1985 film twenty years ago, in college. I'd like to see it again one day.


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