Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars The Whole of Life, February 4, 2012
This review is from: A Room with a View and Howards End (Signet Classics) (Mass Market Paperback)
The second to the last chapter of this book, "Lying to Mr. Emerson", is perhaps the most romantic this old English major has ever read. Much as I love Pride and Prejudice, and that is a lot, I love this book even more. The switching of the story from sensuous Italy to stuffy but slightly unhinged England and back again is brilliant. Like Pride and Prejudice, we see little of the romantic hero, in this case George Emerson, and although like Darcy he is a man of few words, those words burn into Lucy Honeychurch in a way she can never forget, just as Darcy's first proposal clings to Lizzy. But it is the "Lying to Mr. Enerson" chapter, with the confrontation (which may not be the word I want exactly) between Lucy and Mr. Emerson, that is so richly written that my heart breaks every time I read it. I cannot read it aloud, it is too poignant. Two under-rated characters in this book are Lucy's mother, Mrs. Honeychurch, and Lucy's brother, Freddie. Together they provide a quirky and strangely modern support for Lucy's progress in realizing and embracing her future self. And Lucy's English home, Windy Corner, is a character in its own right. Be prepared for a book where not much happens, except the slow and beautifully rendered unfolding of a butterfly's wings.
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