Monday, June 25, 2007


On Chesil Beach captured my heart and my imagination.

McEwan creates magic in each one of his books with his writing style, his descriptive prose and his ability to convey what his characters are thinking and make them real. From a single, poignant event he weaves engrossing tales encompassing past, present and future.

In this latest novel, two young people on their wedding night are set on a collision course. Both are virgins. One is eagerly anticipating the momentous occasion, the other is filled with dread, and, yes, aversion.

The story is set in England in the 60’s – in the years before that decade embraced free love, before the sexual revolution occurred. The thought of two virgins in the 60’s may have you shaking your head in disbelief. McEwan makes it believable by his empathetic and detailed account of their past lives. These young people are the products of both the times and their upbringing.

We are made privy to their jumbled thoughts, emotions, fears and desires so that the question, “How did they ever reach such a tragic impasse?” is answered.

This is a story of moments lost forever – opportunities to make one’s truth heard, misinterpretation of another’s tone and responding in kind rather than saying the words that are in your heart.

Their inability to communicate has tragic consequences. They are incapable of finding the words to heal, to bridge their differences.

Love is not enough without the words to express who you are, your desires, your fears and your needs.

I so admire McEwan’s ability to capture time, place and character with his amazing command of language and detail.

On Chesil Beach is a masterful and moving piece of work by an author whose books I love. And I am always eagerly anticipating his next “gift.”


MyUtopia said...

I love the cover!

Nomad said...

Great review, I'm sold...
Can't wait... August in Canada Chapters here I come!!

Beth said...

Yup, great cover.
And what's inside - even better.

I hope you love it, too.
Wonderful that you'll be back for part of the summer. One of the best times in Canada, right?

Kerry said...

I am so pleased you liked it too. A gift indeed.

Beth said...

He's amazing, isn't he?
You are right there - in their minds and in their hearts.

Mike M said...

I will have to go check it out. Thanks for the review!

Beth said...

Thanks for taking the time to read the review - and for leaving a comment.
It's a small gem of a book - only 166 pages.

Anonymous said...

This is why I love books so much because you can "be" the characters, you can find similarities with yourself or have a peek into the mindset of someone completely different.

Beth said...

I so agree. These two characters are totally unlike me but I was able to understand them - it's like getting an education into the human soul(s).

patricia said...

Wow! Another great review! Beautifully written. I recall reading an excerpt from the novel in the New Yorker a while back, and was very intrigued. And guess what? I purchased 'Suite Francaise'. Can't wait to dig in!

Beth said...

You'll love them both!

Dan said...

Happy Birthday Beth!!!


Diesel said...

Sounds like a fascinating book. Excellent review. If I wasn't like 10 books behind already....

Mom of Three said...

Hey, before I forget, have you read "Arranged Marriages?" So awesome!!!!

Thanks for the tip!

Beth said...

I'll add it to my Wish List!
I love recommendations from fellow bloggers - I trust their taste in books.

Camplin said...

Sounds like a good read. Thanks

Beth said...

Thanks for checking in - hope you give the book a try!