Review: On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

 

I was not expecting this! I picked it up because someone mentioned how good this book was – sometimes you have to listen to people and their book reviews! Set in one night in England in 1962 with flashbacks from both the main characters this book revolves around the wedding night of two sexually inexperienced and awkward newlyweds who are honeymooning in a hotel on Chesil Beach. I understand completely why this book has been called a masterpiece. Ian McEwan is perfect at describing sexual ineptitude and fear from both the man and the woman’s point of view. He also perfectly showcases the cultural expectations of the time that led to the characters coming up to their wedding night as sexually uneducated virgins. It will make you cringe, blush, laugh, and feel just as awkward as the two characters Edward and Florence. You will not know how this book ends ahead of time – at least I was totally surprised. This story is a very well-written example of the consequences we face when we do or don’t, say or don’t say.

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