The story of a young and affluent middle-class girl, Lucy Honeychurch is wooed by George Emerson and Cecil Vyse whilst vacationing in Italy. Though attracted to George, Lucy becomes engaged to Cecil despite twice turning down his proposals. On hearing of the news, George confesses his love, leaving Lucy torn between marrying the more socially acceptable Cecil, or George, the man she knows would bring her true happiness.
In this piece of social comedy, E. M. Forster is concerned with one of his favourite themes: the 'undeveloped heart' of the English middle classes, who are here represented by a group of tourists and expatriates in Florence.
One of Forster's most admired works, here brought vividly to life by narrator Joanna David, it is a classic tale of human struggle. Should Lucy choose social acceptance or true love? Forster's disapproval of the restrictive conventions of British society are mirrored in the novel through his strong observation of character and society.
A Room with a View was ranked 79th on the Modern Library's list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. The 1985 film adaptation by James Ivory won three Oscars.
Joanna has an extensive array of credits over stage, film and television. Her more recent television appearances include The Living and the Dead, Death in Paradise and Downton Abbey. She has worked with many great film directors, for example, Woody Allen on You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger in 2010. Her more recent film work includes Another Mother's Son and The Boy with the Topknot . Joanna is vice-president of the Theatrical Guild.
Joanna David has narrated a number of Audible favourites including Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Hilary Boyd’s Thursdays in the Park.
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By JGillespieSt on 09-06-2016
Female Narrator is a Must
I saw the 1985 film version of A Room with a View in graduate school. I was taking a fin de siecle class and one of my classmates decided to have A Room with a View party. The movie is pretty fabulous. The friend who organized the party said that this was a rare case where she liked the movie better than the book. For some reason, in my mind, that translated as, "the book is not very good." Well, fast forward fifteen years and another friend picked this book for book club so I had to read it. Now I can definitively say that the book is also very, very good.
I think my fondness for the film definitely contributed to my enjoyment of the book. At the very least, it helped with comprehension. I was surprised to find that the movie followed the book so closely. Really, it's a fabulous adaptation.
A Room with a View is the story of Lucy Honeychurch and the people she meets while touring Italy. E.M. Forster's book has such a splendid cast of characters. And his book is so funny in a fusty, early 20th-century British kind of way. I found it quite amusing. The bathing scene was even funnier in the book than it is in the movie.
For such a slim little book, Forster really packs in a lot. We had such a great discussion, and I was so happy that I read the book with a book group.
Finding a good narrator for this book was a must. Overdrive has a copy, but, from experience, I know that recordings of classics are often not up to snuff, and, after listening to the preview, I could tell it wasn't going to be the greatest experience. (I listened to library copies of Howard's End and Great Expectations. I have paid my dues.) So I pulled out my Audible subscription and listened to the previews of every copy they had. I settled on Joanna David's reading. (Really why are so many of the others rest narrated by men? It just seems wrong.) I'm certain that my experience was much improved thanks to this careful selection.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
By Joseph R on 22-04-2010
One Italian Spring
This is one splendid book. The writing is beautiful. The author created word paintings or a kind of musical composition but that is like going to see "The Girl With a Pearl Earring" by Johannes Vermeer and saying it is a pretty painting but this is the best I can do. One feels as if you are seeing and feeling with the eyes and emotions of Lucy Honeychurch, Cecil Wyse and George Emerson. This is a triangle of love muddles. The girl says yes to the handsome, rich and cultured Cecil As she grew into a self aware and confident woman, she found that he would never be able to meet her needs. To get a better idea of his character, I refer you to Charlotte Bronte's St. John Rivers in "Jane Eyre" or Mary Ann Evans (George Elliot)'s Tito in "Romula". For these men, there was only themselves with no room for the needs of another. A lighter treatment can be found in Sophie Kinsella's "Remember Me?" It must be confessed that our heroine unknowingly lies, to herself, her family, her fianc?, the man she loves. She must take back her yes and find a way to say yes to the right man while the whole world knows and approves of her engagement. It is at times, quite funny and always engrossing.
The narrator, Rosalyn Landor enjoyed herself and made the book a joy. There is a kind of poetry in the story which she expressed as her own. It was my first time with her. She is tops.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By M. Lindley-Thompson on 18-02-2018
This is a beautiful story beautifully read. I will be listening to this a lot just for the sound of the language. There’s a lot to think about afterwards, subtle things about character and what makes us who we are. I don’t necessarily agree with the author but it’s wonderful to be led to think about them.
By Miss SL Whicheloe on 24-12-2017
a slow paced story with exquisite detail and delicate use of words and description. loved it.