The story starts simply - Lucy accompanied by her cousin/chaperone Charlotte are on tour in Florence and the rooms with a view which they were promised has not materialised much to their disappointment and chagrin. A light at the end of the tunnel - an old gentleman by the name of Emerson hearing of their plight offers his rooms (with the view) in exchange.
Charlotte is extremely annoyed at the forwardness or "vulgarity" of the old man whereas Lucy simply looks on it as an act of kindness. This is the first of many instances in the book where during the Edwardian times of the period, ladies should behave just so and Lucy somehow finds herself at variance with the unwritten rules.
The story for me is a coming of age book. Lucy all these years governed by rules and regulations of a strict society learns that she can even in small instances break free and have a mind and will of her own. Lucy is a character one would very easily like, the Emersons unfortunately portrayed as vulgar when they are not, Cecil seems different as he wants to be so, the stultifying Charlotte and Mrs. Honeychurch are all characters who add life to the story. How Lucy changes from someone who does not know her own mind, and can be influenced by others to a girl who realizes the strength of her feelings, and is willing to go against general opinion to break off an engagement which is considered beneficial to all.
This was my first foray into Forster and I enjoyed the read very much. I am reading more of the older books simply because those are readily available here. I am only hoping that whilst digging these out I will find more gems.