On Chesil Beach Author:Ian McEwan A novel of remarkable depth and poignancy from one of the most acclaimed writers of our time. — 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... more ». 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.
Ian McEwan has caught with understanding and compassion the innocence of Edward and Florence at a time when marriage was presumed to be the outward sign of maturity and independence. On Chesil Beach is another masterwork from McEwan?a story of lives transformed by a gesture not made or a word not spoken.« less
I just finished On Chesil Beach and it quickly moved into my top two books by Ian McEwan, the other being Atonement. McEwan efficiently provides the back stories of his two young protagonists and movingly depicts a wedding night decision that changes the course of their lives. A quick read full of memorable scenes of shared love, ambition and sexual insecurities, McEwan portrays a relationship that symbolizes the cultural divide of the 1960's, and captures the nostalgia and regret that often haunt us in our own lives.
This was my first time I read anything by Ian McEwan, but I am extremely impressed. At times the book can be hard to follow, it is creatively written. The characters are shown with all of their own flaws. At the end, I sat thinking about how one moment can change your whole life. Great book.
Like all his books, this is a carefully and eloquently written novel. The pace moves briskly, perhaps because of its length. McEwan expertly describes the insecurities of the two main characters. All of his books (including this one) are wonderful.
I listened to this one, read by the author, on Audio CD. It is a slim novel, the story of two virgins and a marriage destined for failure. Set in the early 1960's, before the era of "free love", it is heartbreakingly sad that the two people (who really loved each other) could not even talk about their sexual compatibility. Highly recommend.
This little book left me introspective and sad. Told in a unique McEwan style, the book emphasizes that momentary decisions have lifelong consequences (similar in someways to Atonement). It's also a period piece of a time when sexuality and family secrets were kept tightly under wraps.