I read this book for the Decades challenge (1910) and every single minute of it was pure struggle. OK, not every minute, but mostly every minute. This book is only 236 pages, but it took me two weeks to finish!!
The story is about Margaret Schlegel who befriends her neighbor Mrs. Wilcox. When Mrs. Wilcox passes away, she leaves her home, Howards End, to Margaret–although Margaret is unaware of the bequest. After the death, Margaret then befriends Mr. Wilcox. A strange type of courting pursues and they eventually become engaged. On the sidelines of the story are Wilcox’s extravagant and snotty children and Margaret’s aloof sister Helen. In the side-sidelines are the Basts, Leonard and Jacky, who are of a lower class but become entwined in the story. Its difficult to give a summary without giving away any of the plot, so that’s basically it. Most of the story is wrapped up in class issues, the Mr. Wilcox and Margaret’s courtship, and family scandals.
I’ve recently heard good things about Forster, particularly his A Passage to India but this is quite possibly the worst book I have read all year. Granted, I did just start a new job on Monday, but I was struggling even before my time got cut in half. And I’m not even really sure why I disliked this book so much! The character development wasn’t half bad, but I found the writing a little confusing and very anticlimactic. The last couple of chapters were the best in the book, but I thought the writing was boring and without passion. I would not recommend this book and if you are reading it or plan to, I hope you have much better luck than I did.