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A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

Review by Kate

a room with a view book cover

On a trip to beautiful Florence, high class Lucy Honeychurch meets the Emersons, a father and son whose views are very unlike her own. Lucy is a sheltered girl who is constantly doing what others instruct her to. She is attracted to the Emersons’s way of thinking, and the son George Emerson, but she ignores her feelings. When a series of events lead to the Emersons moving into the same neighborhood as Lucy’s home in England, will her hidden feelings for George threaten her new engagement?


Lucy Honeychurch is a kind and thoughtful character, who often doesn’t realize what is happening right in front of her. Lucy is constantly in denial of her own feelings, lying to herself about what matters most to her. Lucy plays the piano magnificently and loves finding beauty in nature. She cares strongly for her family and wishes to do whatever she can to make them happy. At the end of the story Lucy is on bad terms with her family, and it affects her deeply.


Charlotte Bartlett, Lucy’s horrible cousin, is a complex and interesting character. Charlotte is an unmarried older woman who accompanies Lucy on her trip to Florence. She acts as if she is selfless and self-deprecating, when she is in fact manipulating Lucy at every turn. Lucy eventually realizes Charlotte’s intentions, and begins to hate her. However, at the end of the book it is revealed that Charlotte had to do with Lucy marrying the one she loved.


A Room with a View is a classic story of love and discovering your true self. Lucy is controlled throughout the story, first by her cousin Charlotte, and later by her fiancé Cecil. This fact is obvious to everyone except Lucy herself. By the end of A Room with a View, Lucy has cut herself free of those holding her back, and has married the one she truly loves.


There are many different types of figurative language used in the narrative. One example is the comparison of Lucy to a kite. Mr. Beebe describes Lucy as a kite controlled by Charlotte and Cecil. He believes that when Lucy becomes truly free of the two it will be something worth seeing. Imagery is often used when describing the sites and artwork of Florence. Forster’s writing is descriptive and imaginative.


Something I enjoyed in A Room with a View was all the references to Greek and Roman mythology. Many characters were compared to Greek gods and goddesses, such as the drivers for Lucy’s driving trip. There was also lots of description of ancient Greek and Roman art that Lucy saw on her trip to Florence.


A Room with a View is a good book that doesn’t take long to read, despite being an older book. The characters are funny and the plot is exciting. The beginning of the book was slow, but once Lucy returns to England it gets very exciting. I would give A Room with a View an eight out of ten stars and recommend it to anyone looking for a good classic book.

Checkout A Room With a View from the Newport Beach Public Library.

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