A Room With A View
A Room With A View is a book by E. M. Forster that describes a woman’s battle between the polite people who never let their feelings out and the free people who are passionate about things. It is immediately obvious which the author is in favor of, which makes it less of a surprise which side is going to win. So you don’t read this for the mystery of which side she’s going to pick, you read it for the journey.
The plot itself is largely mundane. Girl meets boy on a trip, kisses boy, then feels strange about it. Later, she gets engaged to another guy she doesn’t really like. It takes a while, but she finally figures out that she doesn’t love him and runs off with the original guy. But Forster excels in the mundane, and his descriptions of the regular, but in no way boring part of the trip are quite entertaining. Of course, the details are more dramatic, and Forster can also be super dramatic, sometimes too dramatic for me. That is very interesting, as, of course, the way the book is written echoes the story; mundane vs. dramatic.
The characters are very real and humanly irrational. The main character has times where you say “No, no! Marry the other guy!” and times where you want to tell her to be less timid. She is similar to Jane Eyre in this way, but is interesting enough that you don’t get the whole cartoon effect. Her protector doesn’t give her freedom, but she is secretly good all the time; it’s a bit of a gotcha moment. Her family is very friendly, and there’s a bit of a dark side to the happy ending because she must leave them, though you know they would support her all the way. They’re so likeable that you get used to them in the middle part of the book, get used to mundane though you know that must end.
A Room With A View deserves its classic status; it is a superbly written book. The characters are great, and Forster makes a mundane plot interesting and dramatic. Though it drags a bit, you should definitely read it, girls and boys alike (though the romance might be a bit much for middle school boys, mushy and all).