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Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.Like all of Forster's work, Howards End concerns itself with class, nationality, economic status, and how each of these affects personal relationships. It follows the intertwined fortunes of the Schlegel sisters, Margaret and Helen, and the Wilcox family over the course of several years. The Schlegels are intellectuals, devotees of art and literature. The Wilcoxes, on the other hand, can't be bothered with the life of the mind or the heart, leading, instead, outer lives of "telegrams and anger" that foster "such virtues as neatness, decision, and obedience, virtues of the second rank, no doubt, but they have formed our civilization." Helen, after a brief flirtation with one of the Wilcox sons, has developed an antipathy for the family; Margaret, however, forms a brief but intense friendship with Mrs. Wilcox, which is cut short by the older woman's death. When her family discovers a scrap of paper requesting that Henry give their home, Howards End, to Margaret, it precipitates a spiritual crisis among them that will take years to resolve.
Forster's 1910 novel begins as a collection of seemingly unrelated events--Helen's impulsive engagement to Paul Wilcox; a chance meeting between the Schlegel sisters and an impoverished clerk named Leonard Bast at a concert; a casual conversation between the sisters and Henry Wilcox in London one night. But as it moves along, these disparate threads gradually knit into a tightly woven fabric of tragic misunderstandings, impulsive actions, and irreparable consequences, and, eventually, connection. Though set in the early years of the 20th century, Howards End seems even more suited to our own fragmented era of e-mails and anger. For readers living in such an age, the exhortation to "only connect" resonates ever more profoundly. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Although written in the style of the time I still loved the story, the characters and E.M. Forster.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Despite a problem with formatting which accounts for four rather than five stars (the book started out looking like a typed manuscript then reformatted to a Kindle font with very... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Amy
I read Howard's End back in college and have no recollection of being impressed with it. Now, over 4 decades later, I found the experience exquisite. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mary Anne Geertsma
Tedious to read but great social commentary. Strong female characters caught in a mans world. Money is a life changer for mostPublished 1 month ago by kmw2017
I liked the characters and the overall plot. I liked that the title place, Howard's End had an affect on the people, depending on what kind of people they were. Read morePublished 2 months ago by vermont reader
I enjoyed the characters, especially the women, and the setting(s), but it took me a long time to reach the last chapter. I actually preferred The Room with a View.Published 2 months ago by Ginny Sue