A Room With A (Re)view

A Room With A (Re)view

This is my very first review written in English. Because I've lived in the United States long enough to think in English, I felt like posting something. Please, don't be harsh, I'm still learning the language. If you notice some mistakes, let me know in a kind way down in the comment section. Thank you!


When I finished reading this book, I felt like I wasn't done with the characters yet. It actually felt like I had to know more about their lives, their future. In all honesty, I don't consider this book my favorite for a couple of reasons, that I'd like to explain here. Just to be clear, I read this novel both in Italian and English, and each language put me in a different light, but this also created a sort of gap in the reading. In this book, there are some interesting and sophisticated discussions of art, history, and philosophy, but they weren't developed as much as I'd have hoped. In addition, I felt a sort of distance between myself and the characters, and I think the reason for this lays in the limited length of the chapters and in the lack of history of the characters. Apart from that, it's a good book and probably I would need to read it another time in order to have a wider and deeper view. The amount of feminism in it is pretty admirable: Lucy, the main character, is in fact portrayed as a rebel whose desires are not conventional, and whose attitude, sadly, is seen by others as confusion rather than a free spirit. I loved it that culture, here, is presented as an unpleasant atmosphere fed by hypocritical and sophisticated characters like Cecil, Mr. Eager, and Miss Lavish. On the other side, Lucy holds onto feelings rather than complex thoughts. She lives through art, rather than for it - that's why when she leaves Italy to go back home, she doesn't quite remember the names of some Italian painters whose works she'd enjoyed seeing, and she feels she doesn't belong to England anymore. Indeed, the trip to Italy shows her what is wrong and right in her life. At this point, I can't go on without mentioning that I loved the descriptions of Florence and other Italian sights! More than that, I loved how poetic and lyric the writing is - the author is great at portraying nature and having his readers get carried away by the music of his words! As I was reading some paragraphs, it seemed to me I could smell the flowers, I could hear the birds chirping, and I could see the light of the sun getting warmer above the hills. This book definitely made me want to go back home, to Italy, where I'm sure I still feel I belong to it. Some things just don't change.

In conclusion, this book was a nice trip to Italy, and also to the core of a kind of romanticism that expresses itself through a union of love and nature. Let me just show you one of my favorite paragraphs:

From her feet the ground sloped sharply into the view, and violets ran down in rivulets and streams and cataracts, irrigating the hillside with blue, eddying round the tree stems, collecting into pools in the hollows, covering the grass with spots of azure foam. But never again were they in such profusion; this terrace was the well-head, the primal source whence beauty gushed out to water the earth.

Jan 10, 2022