July 10, 2014

Consider This Classic: Danielle Recommends

Consider This Classic is a monthly feature where bloggers highlight and recommend their favorite classic. They'll tell you when they first read it, why they love it and where to go from there. If you'd like to participate in Consider This Classic, click here to sign up.

Y'all, I may have squealed a little when I saw what Danielle from Love At First Page chose to highlight as her classic recommendation. I already knew I liked her from chatting with her on Twitter, but that fact was solidified when she picked a classic I adore and think is so underrated. And then I creeped on her blog bio and found out that her dog was named after Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. I think you all know this is a major win in my book! So, now it's time for you to find out why I was so excited about her recommendation.


A Room With a View by E.M. Forster

Publication Date: 1908
Originally Published In: United Kingdom
Amazon | Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads)
This Edwardian social comedy explores love and prim propriety among an eccentric cast of characters assembled in an Italian pensione and in a corner of Surrey, England.

A charming young English woman, Lucy Honeychurch, faints into the arms of a fellow Britisher when she witnesses a murder in a Florentine piazza. Attracted to this man, George Emerson--who is entirely unsuitable and whose father just may be a Socialist--Lucy is soon at war with the snobbery of her class and her own conflicting desires. Back in England she is courted by a more acceptable, if stifling, suitor, and soon realizes she must make a startling decision that will decide the course of her future: she is forced to choose between convention and passion.

The enduring delight of this tale of romantic intrigue is rooted in Forster's colorful characters, including outrageous spinsters, pompous clergymen and outspoken patriots. Written in 1908, A Room With A View is one of E.M. Forster's earliest and most celebrated works.


I first read this book after I graduated college. At the time I was reading a few classics I hadn't gotten to study in school. I'd always heard great things about it, especially in regards to E.M. Forster's celebration of female empowerment through passion, independence, and love. It's a short book, roughly 240 pages, but I connected to it on an emotional level only a few books achieve.


The writing, for one, is gorgeous. I would describe it as soulful, romantic, and universal. It captures what it means to be a person with feelings and individual thoughts. The book was written during a time when women were beginning to gain more rights but were still denied so much. So here we have Lucy Honeychurch, our heroine, who longs for freedom, adventure, and love, but she's trapped by society's expectations. I loved reading about her struggles, her fight to break free. E.M. Forster, who was gay and hid his sexuality his entire life, says love is the answer, or more accurately that our choosing love is the answer. There's a purity in that. I know as YA bloggers we don't like it when the girl is fixed because of the love of a boy, but in A Room with a View love itself empowers Lucy. Her choosing George is what gives her independence, because she's making her own decisions and following her own desires. 

And, *swoon*, George Emerson is one of the sweetest men in literature. Let his words to Lucy be enough to convince you: "I want you to have your own thoughts even when I hold you in my arms."


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Similar idea of waiting for and choosing love rather than capitulating to society's expectations. 

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta - In another life, Lucy could have been a Francesca Spinelli. Both girls experience tremendous growth as they learn more about themselves, their family, and their friends.

3 comments:

  1. Of the several classics I had to read for high school AP English, this was one of my favorites! I think I've even revisited it in the 4 years since my first read.

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  2. Thanks so much for having me, Hannah! <3

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  3. I have not read A Room with a View! But that's why I love these posts, because they make me aware of classics I might not have been interested in or heard of otherwise. Great suggestions, Danielle! Can't wait to read it for myself :)

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