Grabbed this to read from the shelf in a hostel on a wet winter weekend. Between the low clouds and short days, our trip was definitely lacking in any kind of a view.
Forster transports us to the intrigue of an English Pension in Italy in late-Victorian times. Lucy our young heroine is touring, and navigating with the aid and occasional hindrance of her chaperone the adult world and male relationships as best as she is able.
We learn how she explores Florence, in both its artistic beauty and the more violent nature of the city, whilst battling the constraints placed upon her. Then we return home, and she has to decide what course her life will take, whilst worrying about social expectations, her family and her own happiness.
I quite like the appendix, which I don’t think was included in the early text. This puts those decisions against the context of the later two World Wars, and how her choices will have been tested by wider changes.
A great novel which puts youth and pivotal changes into context, whilst promoting youth and hope.