I kind of expected that I would love this book. A Room with a View by Mr. Forster is one of my all-time favorite books, mostly because of the message it sends about love and life and living with intent and passion. As soon as I found out that this same author had written a m/m romance in 1913/1914, I couldn't wait to read it.
Especially considering when it was written, this book is remarkable. It is beautiful and inspiring and thought-provoking and passionate in its claims that love really can conquer all--if given a chance.
Maurice and Alec are both so brave, it made me both a little angry and a lot sad that their contemporaries would have arrested them rather than be inspired by their courage. I can't even imagine how much courage it would have taken for both of them to give up everything. Their families, their jobs, their hopes for the future, their places in society; they knowingly and willingly gave all of those things up for the chance to be together.
And I love that Maurice still cared enough for Clive to go and try to convince him to be honest with himself again. Clive makes me the saddest, I think, of anyone in the book. Even when was brave enough to try out a relationship with Maurice, he was still scared enough or beaten down by Society enough to not truly enjoy it. It baffles me that in three years they only kissed once.
I was so proud of Maurice when he finally realizes how much better he deserves when Clive kisses his hand.
My absolute favorite part of this book is when Maurice and Alec finally are together in the boathouse. So many events between that morning and them being there together that evening could have gone wrong. There was so much potential for misunderstanding or mis-communication and disaster. But they both made such brave, difficult choices and they both ended up exactly where they needed to be. SO beautiful!
This is a beautiful, remarkable book. Inspiring and hopeful and wonderfully romantic. Definitely going in my favorites shelf!