On Beauty is a tribute to E. M. Forster's Howards End, but set in
a contemporary American setting. The Belseys (like Forster's Schlegels)
become entangled with another family whose conventional household appears to be
the opposite of their own but across the divide the wives form a friendship that
leads to a valuable legacy being bequeathed by one woman to the other, leading
to concealment and conflict.
Edward Morgan Forster was born in 1879 in London and educated at Cambridge. While at Cambridge he became a member of a group called the Apostles (formerly the Cambridge Conversazione Society) who discussed moral, intellectual and aesthetic issues. Many of this group, including Forster, later congregated in London where they became known as the Bloomsbury Group.
Forster's books, including Howards End (1910) explore class, nationality, economic status, and the effect of each of these elements on personal relationships. Although...