Monday, October 18, 2010

What happens in Florence stays in Florence.

Current book: A Room with a View
Pages read: 158 - 211 (end)

Well, everyone spends some more time together, Cecil keeps being an asshole, and eventually George and Lucy find themselves alone together. George admits that he still loves her, kisses her, and tells her to leave Cecil. She's angry and resistant and denies him, but later in the evening realizes that he's at least right about Cecil. Lucy calls off the engagement, which Cecil handles fairly well, and she vows to go to Greece on a pleasure trip to avoid complications and gossip in England. Before she can leave, however, she meets George's father, who realizes that she loves his son, and he tells her so. His certainty causes her to realize the truth, and she vows to reconcile with George.

Forster skips forward several months here for the final chapter, and we see the two young people already married and vacationing, once again, in Florence. Lucy's family is, apparently, angry with her about their marriage, but she and George are, nonetheless, happy and full of hopes for the future.

It was a cute, cheery little novel with an undercurrent of cutting social satire. All in all, it was pretty enjoyable, but I'm not sure it was deep and moving, or even particularly memorable. I will admit that the portrayal of Cecil kept cutting me to the quick, though. Some of the reasons he's an asshole, as I mentioned before, are traits that I share with him, and it made me think about my personal flaws. I suppose that's a mark of good satire, really - that it results in self-examination.

Anyway, I wasn't blown away by the novel, and I don't think it really deserves to be on the list, but it's worth reading. It did have a bit to say about women not letting themselves be controlled and protected by men or their families, so that was nice, but honestly I think Forster was thinking more about being entertaining than anything else. Sometimes that has its place.

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