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December 30, 2018

On Chesil Beach



On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Fiction
2007 Nan A. Talese
Finished on March 19, 2018
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

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.

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.


I have read several books by Ian McEwan and decided to pick up a copy of On Chesil Beach at my library after learning that the movie was soon to be released on Netflix. I quickly fell into this novel late one evening, not wanting to set it down and go to sleep, but finally did. Sadly, the book started off nicely, but wound up being a dud. I didn't care for either of the characters and had to force myself to finish, which wasn't difficult since it's such a short book. Had it been any longer, I probably would have called it quits. I'm not sure why I continue to read this author's works since I've only really loved one of his novels. Next time I'm inclined to read another book by McEwan, I'll save myself some frustration and just re-read Atonement.

10 comments:

  1. I've only read one of his books and I struggled with it so I'll skip this one.

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    1. Kathy, he is definitely an acquired taste and I've only enjoy one of his novels. I wonder if I'll enjoy it as much with a second reading.

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  2. I read this a long time ago it seems and I remember thinking it was pretty good. (It was on a train from NYC if I recall correctly). LOL

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    1. Diane, I can see how you could read it quickly on a train. It wasn't very long, but sadly, I didn't care for it. :)

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  3. Yeah, he's not for me, either. The only one I even bothered to pick up and read was Saturday and though I liked parts, I didn't love the book at all.

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    1. Nan, we agree! :) I read Saturday and like you, there were parts I liked, but it wasn't one I loved at all.

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  4. I've read a couple of his books and not sure if he's for me either. I do have this one on my shelf and may check it out one of these days but not in a rush.

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    1. Iliana, I wouldn't recommend it, but since it's so short you might still want to give it a try. Ya never know! :)

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  5. I remember listening to this one and liking it....but not like-like. lol It's so awkward...palpably in parts. I was more impressed with his writing skills than the actual outcome or characters if that makes a lick of sense.

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    1. Andi, it makes complete sense. I think that's why I was so quickly drawn in. His writing skills are remarkable. I really want to re-read Atonement. Loved that book!

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