"Vastly clever... It is comedy; the richest sort of comedy; and suddenly tragedy, tragedy so sudden and surprising that it fairly holds you up standing. Every incident and every character becomes fastened in the memory... Forster has humor of a most refreshing and sophisticated kind, but also he can put on the screws of tense and poignant drama. The story quivers with reality. We are enthusiastic over the novel."--New York Globe
uttered cheerful little cries. At that moment Mr. Kingcroft reappeared, carrying a footwarmer by both ends, as if it was a tea-tray. He was sorry that he was too late, and called out in a quivering voice, "Good-bye, Mrs. Charles. May you enjoy yourself, and may God bless you."
Lilia smiled and nodded, and then the absurd position of the foot-warmer overcame her, and she began to laugh again.
"Oh, I am so sorry," she cried back, "but you do look so funny. Oh, you all look so funny waving! Oh, pray!" And laughing helplessly, she was carried out into the fog.
"High spirits to begin so long a journey," said Mrs. Theobald, dabbing her eyes.
Mr. Kingcroft solemnly moved his head in token of agreement. "I wish," said he, "that Mrs. Charles had gotten the footwarmer. These London porters won't take heed to a country chap."
"But you did your best," said Mrs. Herriton. "And I think it simply noble of you to have brought Mrs. Theobald all the way here on such a day as this." Then, rath
Forster's first novel, a tragic and difficult tale mired in the prejudices and sensibilities of its time and place. Its beautiful language and vivid description help to bridge the gap for modern American readers, but its unlikeable characters often make it rough going.
Lillia, a silly English widow, travels abroad. At first, her trip is a relief to her snobbish in-laws, who think her vulgar and a bad influence on her young daughter. To their horror, however, they soon receive word of her plans to remarry -- to the son of an Italian dentist.
Some descriptions of this book call it a comedy of manners, but I find it sad.