Tuesday, July 1, 2008

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

It is July 1962. Florence is a talented musician who dreams of a career on the concert stage and of the perfect life she will create with Edward, an earnest young history student at University College of London, who unexpectedly wooed and won her heart. Newly married that morning, both virgins, Edward and Florence arrive at a hotel on the Dorset coast. At dinner in their rooms they struggle to suppress their worries about the wedding night to come. Edward, eager for rapture, frets over Florence's response to his advances and nurses a private fear of failure, while Florence's anxieties run deeper: she is overcome by sheer disgust at the idea of physical contact, but dreads disappointing her husband when they finally lie down together in the honeymoon suite.

This is the first book I have read by Ian McEwan, and overall I wasn't that impressed. I found the book to be fairly slow reading for its small size. It was an interesting premise, and I liked the characters fairly well, but the back story seemed tedious to me. I know it was needed to flesh out the characters, but I enjoyed them much more when they were trying to work out their difficulties on their wedding night. 2.5 stars


Mimi said...

I've read two McEwan books - Atonement and Saturday and enjoyed both. I've not read this one, though.

Anonymous said...

I've heard "Atonement" is very good, (although I've not read it) if you want to try another McEwan.

Seen my latest giveaway? It's "Aberrations" by Penelope Przekop. Comment here!

Melissa said...

I have Atonement and am hoping to get to it soon, as I would like to see the movie, but always read the book first.