November 23, 2008

On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan

This is a book that I have been planning to read since I heard Mr. McEwan interviewed last year on CBC radio about this book.  I really must go back and re-listen to that interview now that I have finally read it!
Mixed thoughts on this book.  In my last post, I mentioned that I like good character development, and that a plot that grabs me doesn't help.  This book has very well drawn characters, but really no plot.  In fact, I could probably sum up the plot in a single sentence.  "In July 1962, a newly married couple, Edward and Florence, spend their wedding night in a hotel near Chesil Beach and are so bound by societal constraints that they are unable to consummate their marriage."
What makes the book interesting though is how it tells the story leading up to this devastating night, going back and forth between Edward's and Florence's perspectives, and the inevitability of the conclusion.
Just a short little novella, but a very interesting read.

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