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It is 1962 when Edward and Florence, 23 and 22 respectively, marry and repair to a hotel on the Dorset coast for their honeymoon. They are both virgins, both apprehensive about what's next and in Florence's case, utterly and blindly terrified and repelled by the little she knows. Through a tense dinner in their room, because Florence has decided that the weather is not fine enough to dine on the terrace, they are attended by two local boys acting as waiters. The cameo appearances of the boys and Edward and Florence's parents and siblings serve only to underline the emotional isolation of the two principals. Florence says of herself: "...she lacked some simple mental trick that everyone else had, a mechanism so ordinary that no one ever mentioned it, an immediate sensual connection to people and events, and to her own needs and desires...."
They are on the cusp of a rather ordinary marital undertaking in differing states of readiness, willingness and ardor. McEwan says: "Where he merely suffered conventional first-night nerves, she experienced a visceral dread, a helpless disgust as palpable as seasickness." Edward, having denied himself even the release of self-pleasuring for a week, in order to be tip-top for Florence, is mentally pawing the ground. His sensitivity keeps him from being obvious, but he is getting anxious. Florence, on the other hand, knows that she is not capable of the kind of arousal that will make any of this easy. She has held Edward off for a year, and now the reckoning is upon her.
McEwan is the master of the defining moment, that place and time when, once it has taken place, nothing will ever be the same after it. It does not go well and Florence flees the room. "As she understood it, there were no words to name what had happened, there existed no shared language in which two sane adults could describe such events to each other." Edward eventually follows her and they have a poignant and painful conversation where accusations are made, ugly things are said and roads are taken from which, in the case of these two, the way back cannot be found. Late in Edward's life he realizes: "Love and patience--if only he had them both at once--would surely have seen them both through." This beautifully told sad story could have been conceived and written only by Ian McEwan. --Valerie Ryan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Un delicado tratamiento de un problema insalvable en una relación de pareja. Una novela de primera que pone al autor entre los grandes escritores contemporáneos.Published 1 day ago by Tomas Garza
Loved this tender and beautiful book. It arrived in very good condition and promptly.Published 16 days ago by Rebeccca Stephenson
Ordinary romance flayed open. Characters peeled to the emotional bone so smoothly and artistically as if taking the skin off an Apple in one piece was second nature. Read morePublished 18 days ago by doug brown
The first half or so of this book reminded me somewhat of pre-Black Dogs era Ian McEwan, when it seems to me his writing had more vigor and power to it. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
On Chesil Beach is a brief yet wonderful introduction to Ian McEwan. I picked it up to see what all the fuss is about McEwan. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kim
We know writing is never effortless, but Ian McEwan’s soft developing prose reads as if it were.
In On Chesil Beach he weaves a plot from a sensitive limitation of the female... Read more
A sliver of a book tackling a universal set of topics common to all marriages and lives. It is a quick read yet packed with insights and relevant truths.Published 3 months ago by Andrew Hyde