On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan

A slim novella about the events and consequences of the wedding night of Edward and Florence, which takes place in 1962 on Chesil Beach.

A really nice book. Very convincing detail and characterisation. The wedding night is described alternately from Edward's and Florence's points of view, and both seem reasonable, although their failure to communicate and understand one another is what leads to the book's tragic outcome.

What I especially liked was the closing section of the book, in which Edward's life is sketched in brief detail, from that night up until the current day. It seemed like the wedding night had thrown a shadow over the rest of his life, and what made it somehow more powerful was that this section gave no insight as to how Florence had coped: we are left in the dark about that, which somehow seems all the more poignant.

Completed : 31-Dec-2007

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