I just had quite a delicious, enlightening moment.
My sister recently put out a call for book recommendations, “Beautiful novels, not too heavy”. People responded, to my mystification, with suggestions like White Oleander and Love in the Time of Cholera. Guess they didn’t get the “not too heavy” caveat.
I recommended Room With a View, by E M Forster, which has always been one of my favourite books. We were just skyping, so I decided to get it out and read the blurb to her.
Reading it was like getting struck on the head, if my head was a bell. If I had to condense my ultimate romance premise – the heart of romance I’m always trying to find as I write – this would be it:
On her first day in Florence, Miss Lucy Honeychurch, a well-bred tourist from Surrey, meets a passionate young Englishman in her pension who soon introduces her to an honest and reckless new outlook on life. Though Lucy attempts to maintain her safe facade and becomes engaged to an English gentleman with an overdeveloped intellect and an underdeveloped heart, the desires she has held in check for so long come unbound, bringing her face to face with the disorienting possibility of a life free from paralysing precaution.