Lucy Honeychurch, a young smart Englishwoman arrives in Florence on a grand tour with her aunt Charlotte Bartlett. Through a series of events involving English expatriates Miss Eleanor Lavish, an unflappable novelist, and the Emersons, a free-thinking father and son, Lucy's life is changed forever under a loggia in Florence and in the Tuscan countryside.
Lucy returns from her sentimental journey to her mother, brother, and their local vicar in England and attempts to resume her life as it was before her trip, consenting to an engagement with Cecil Vyse, a bookish snob who never uses an English word when an Italian or italicized one would do. Lucy must then choose between an easy but untruthful life as Cecil's wife and one that will require a renunciation of all she has been taught at her childhood home at Windy Corner.
Best part of story, including ending:
This one goes in my favorite story - love is the answer. Its a wonderful writing, complete with lovely moments.
Best scene in story:
I liked the surprise kisses from George to Lucy, it gives a sense of romantic awe.
Opinion about the main character:
I disliked Cecil because of his rude behavior
Lucy Honeychurch, a naive English girl, and her fussy chaperon, Charlotte Bartlett, are visiting Florence for the first time. They are annoyed when their pension rooms have no view of the Arno, so an "ill-bred" and unpopular fellow guest, Mr Emerson, offers to swap with them. Mr Beebe, a clergyman, reassures them that Emerson, though a Socialist, has no ulterior motive, and they accept his offer.
Lucy meets Mr Emerson and his son George when she is lost while sight-seeing. She finds the father kind and the son interesting despite their unconventionality. Later Lucy witnesses a fatal stabbing in the street and faints; George helps her back to the pension. Lucy tries to avoid George as the other guests gossip uncharitably about the Emersons, but is aware of a subtle change in her feelings. During an expedition, on a hillside covered in violets, George kisses her impulsively. Charlotte, witnessing this, decides they should leave Florence.
Back in England, several months later, Lucy becomes engaged to supercilious aristocrat Cecil Vyse, with whom she has little in common. When the Emersons move nearby, Lucy's brother Freddy befriends George, inviting him to a tennis party. Cecil refuses to play, instead reading aloud from a new novel he despises. As he reads a passage concerning a stolen kiss, Lucy realises that Charlotte has betrayed her confidence to the lady novelist they met in Italy. George kisses her again and, when she tries to discourage him, tells her Cecil is stifling her. Her feelings are in turmoil. Should she break off the engagement?
Lucy has to decide between propriety and passion, between social acceptance and independence, between England and Italy. Not merely a typical romance, this is also a story of personal growth and the challenging of convention, told with a lightly humorous touch.
This report prepared by Maureen Evans