Thursday, 24 September 2009

On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan

After two cases of #BookFAIL this week, I have really enjoyed reading On Chesil Beach (2007) by English author Ian McEwan. McEwan's Atonement and Enduring Love have long been on my TBR (to be read) list. On Chesil Beach was a lucky find at the library.

On Chesil Beach is a very short novel, just 160 pages long. It is superbly written and a real page turner which was shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize in 2007. I 'inhaled' this book in just two days. Set in 1962, this is the story of two people who, essentially fail to communicate. Though they believe they are in love, Edward and Florence are quieted by their backgrounds, expectations from their families, their limited understandings of what they perceive love to be, and society in general. Each incorrectly analyses and interprets the actions of the other, and the misunderstandings couldn't be further from reality. This leads to a disastrous turn of events on their wedding night. As a reader, you will be encouraging them along (or away from) their path, then alternately staring in disbelief; standing back is simply agonising at times!

Comically excruciating to read, On Chesil Beach illustrates how the entire course of one's life can change simply by doing nothing. It is, by far, my favourite read of this year.


Anonymous said...

I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Weirdly enough, it's my least favourite McEwan (The Cement Garden being my favourite) - I've read about five of them, so...

OwhiroLady said...

I have just finished and adored The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. Compelling storytelling - highly recommended. I borrowed it after my daughter studied it for Year 13 English - we both loved it.