Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What's in a Name Challenge Book Review - On Chesil Beach

I finished my last book in Annie's What's in a Name Challenge a while ago but never did get my review posted and linked up. So here it goes...

For the book with a place in the title I read "On Chesil Beach" by Ian McEwan. This is the only book I have read by this author, but after watching "Atonement" it seems to me that there is a common theme between these two books. A single moment in time, a lone decision, made by one person changes the course of lives forever.

This book is set in the 50s and introduces us to Florence and Edward as they eat dinner in their hotel on Chesil Beach on their wedding night. Edward is eagerly anticipating the wedding night "festivities" while Florence is filled with dread. While it is never clear exactly why Florence has so many issues, it is implied that she was abused by her father and has been left with a serious repulsion for sex. Although she loves Edward, the wedding night is a disaster. I won't give away the ending, but suffice it to say that McEwan creates a story fraught with humanity that is both tragic and beautifully realistic.

This is a relatively short book and a pretty easy read, but definitely not a feel good story. I wouldn't recommend it if the shorter fall days are making you feel a little blue. Although I would recommend it - it is well written and thought provoking.

1 comment:

Debi said...

Great review, Kara! I've never read any of his books...have always assumed they just wouldn't be my thing. But after your review, I just may have to rethink things.