I had never read this classic and popular story by E.M. Forster but I had definitely seen the 1985 Merchant Ivory film adaptation (glorious) and have also seen the play adaptation on stage ( which includes the full skinny dip scene – hilarious).
Reading the book however I found a bit more difficult, wading through the English tendency to talk in circles. The story of a young English girl looks at the social class structure of England as it began to shift in the early part of the 20th century.
Like other similarly written stories of the time, a strong-willed but naive young woman (Miss Honeychurch) walks the reader through a series of events beginning in Florence Italy, continuing on to Rome and returning back to England. The events look at the sometimes ridiculous social etiquette of the era, with a lot of romance, confusion and sometimes long drawn out English conversations.
Both sweet and funny, with one of the funniest scenes in literature playing out when the young ladies happen upon the young men skinny dipping in the pond, the comedy of errors is a fun if sometimes slow read, but a classic to be enjoyed.
Four stars for A Room with a View by E.M. Forster.
Read last week’s review of Florida.