Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On Chesil Beach

Florence and Edward are newly-weds and spend their honeymoon in a hotel near Chesil Beach. Their wedding night ends in a complete disaster, though.

The book takes place in 1962 and I must admit that I would have placed it even earlier (I was born in 1979). I'm not sure if the two main characters would have been happy in their marriage but they never have a chance to find out. They are both anxious at the thought of having sex for the first time - Edward because he is afraid that he won't be able to satisfy Florence and Florence because everything she has read about the subject disgusts her (there are also hints that she was abused by her father). They don't dare talk about their feelings and fears and so their wedding night marks the end of their marriage.

I grew up in a very different time and the society described seemed at times positively alien to me. But McEwan makes it easy to identify with the characters, their backgrounds and their evolving relationship is described very vividly in flashbacks.

This is the first book by Ian McEwan I have read and I intend to read more, I enjoyed On Chesil Beach very much. 33. book for the Library Challenge

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