"A Room With A View"

A Room With A View by E.M. Forster

This is the second book I've read with dailylit.com, and it was a totally different experience than the first. I read War and Peace in installments because I figured, from having attempted it before, that I wouldn't finish it and I'm happy to say Daily Lit was able to keep me on track and get me through to the end.

A Room With A View was another matter entirely. I loved the story, the writing and the characters but didn't enjoy reading it in installments at all. I always wanted more and was irritated by having to stop at the end of the sections. I longed for pages to turn. It's a delightful book, but delightful books need covers and pages which Daily Lit could not supply.

The story has a young woman and her chaperone visiting Italy, where they become friends with other tourists at their hotel. One young man traveling with his father take liberties with the young woman, but she and her chaperone decide to speak to no one about it and to simply pretend it never happened.

They return to their home in England and life carries on as usual with our heroine becoming engaged to a rather pompous man, and I use the term "man" loosely. He's really quite a jerk. Things get complicated when the other man, the liberty-taking young man from Italy, moves into the neighbourhood. I won't tell you any more except to say that it's very entertaining.

Here are a couple of my favourite lines:

I see you looking down your nose and thinking your mother's a snob. But there is a right sort and a wrong sort, and it's affectation to pretend there isn't."

…in which people who care for one another are painted chatting together about noble things--a theme neither sensual nor sensational, and therefore ignored by the art of to-day.”

I particularly like that last one because it so nicely explains my problem with modern publishing. I don't want every book I read to focus on the sensual or sensational, but that's what sells so that's what gets published. There are exceptions of course, but not many. I guess that's why I end up reading so many older books. But back to the matter at hand...

I saw a fairly recent movie made from this book and liked it, but the book itself is a thousand times better. I have to get a copy soon and read it again when I can hold it in my hands and turn pages all I want. This one is a keeper and I want it on my shelf.

And, I have to re-think my use of Daily Lit. I'll probably just use it for books I might not otherwise make myself pick up. You know the ones - we want to read them but we don't look forward to investing the time or the energy they'll require. One of my goals this year is to get one of "those" books crossed off my tbr, so I'm choosing Middlemarch. I'm hoping it won't be any more of a challenge than War And Peace was. I guess time will tell.


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