Although written nearly 100 years ago, Howard’s End by EM Forster is as relevant today as it was progressive in its era. I think I can honestly say that this book is one of my absolute favorites that I’ve read in the past few years. Each page had me taking notes, underlining quotes, actually using the quotes in situations outside of my own head.
This book traces the lives of three families living in three different social spheres. There are the elite and unmarried Schlegel sisters, the upcoming middle class family of the Wilcoxes, and then there is lower class represented by Leonard Bast. Forster using these three families to discuss class, money, and social issues like feminism as represented by Helen & Margaret Schlegel.
Of the two sisters, I liked Helen more than Margaret. I found Margaret to be too forgiving of the Wilcoxes and their utter disregard for those considered beneath them. Helen, meanwhile was full of fire and energy, standing up for the poor.
The name of the book is titled after a piece of land that the eldest Mrs. Wilcox bequeathed to Margaret Schlegel after an intimate winter on year shortly before Mrs. Wilcox passed away. As a result of the Wilcox greed and high levels of ego, the property never made it to Margaret, who had no idea that it was even meant for her. Through a coincidental series of events, Margaret and Helen find their lives constantly overlapping with the Wilcoxes and the Basts. Everything was done smoothly. Although a bit lengthy, I didn’t find the pace of the novel to be too slow. There was just the right about of description to dialogue to action ration evenly divided throughout the entire novel. From start to finish, I enjoyed every part of this book.