Red Wheelbarrow Book Reviews

Renee Abigail Penelope Harold Meg

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from Renée's Reviews



On Chesil Beach

by Ian McEwan

I want to say, "this little novel is a jewel. It is a perfectly cut gem by a master craftsman."

"Little" because it is short and intense. 165 pages. Every word is important. Every detail counts and has its purpose.

McEwan tells us the agonizing story of Edward and Florence's wedding night, two young, educated virgins who lived at a time when sex was not a topic of conversation, when manners were more prudish and young people were not yet sophisticated and experienced before marriage. The story takes place in a Georgian inn on the Dorset coast; the year is 1960. Because the author is very experienced, he manages to give us the history of both these young people while always remaining, at the same time, in the present. We have a glimpse into two lives of different backgrounds, different expectations, different hopes: each in love with the other, each loving the other.

I don't want to add to the above. Read it. You will not regret it.

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