Written in the 1910s, but not released until 1971, after the author's death, Maurice is an Edwardian story about love, class, and finding oneself. The title character is a young man who comes to understand that he is homosexual. We see him through two relationships: first with his schoolmate Clive, who unfortunately goes into the closet and breaks Maurice's heart; second, with Alec, a games keeper who works on Clive's estate.
The novel was just beautifully written. Some chapters, such as Maurice and Clive's breakup, and the cricket match, were masterpieces.
I mean, really, the themes are the same in a lot of romantic-type novels, but of course it's different in this case. The thing that struck me the most was the fact that two gay men could have a happily ever after. That's it. No consequences, no nothing. Just a beautiful, romantic ending. And that was wonderful.
If you plan on reading this, or if you've already read it, I highly suggest watching the 1987 Merchant Ivory film (psst, it's on youtube). I watched it the day after I finished the novel and it just completed the experience for me. Some scenes, such as the ending, became even more beautiful with the visual. And, if I may get superficial for a moment, it's got a very nice-looking, young Rupert Graves. That's a bonus.