Of course, he's an author that pops up fairly regularly in my Google Reader. Technically, I'm supposed to like him, you see. He writes the kind of stuff I like to read about in a style of writing I enjoy. There was just this grudge thing getting in the way.
So when Sam talked about On Chesil Beach, and how it was pretty much wonderful, & recommended to anyone who has ever felt awkward, (love that! Who hasn't felt awkward? Just typing awkward is awkward.) I decided I'd be magnanimous and give McEwan another chance**.
Revolutionary Road in that sense). Florence and Edward, a couple confined by their own sense of politeness, are engaged and married in the early 1960s. Now, I haven't been to London in the 1960s, and I haven't been British, but I have experienced the awkwardness of a relationship suffering from lack of communication. Who hasn't?
"And what stood in their way? Their personalities and pasts, their ignorance and fear, timidity, squeamishness, lack of entitlement or experience or easy manners, then the tail end of a religious prohibition, their Englishness and class, and history itself. Nothing much at all."I loved how McEwan sped up and slowed down the passing of time, as well as how he sort of zoomed in and out of the details, showing the big picture as well. I cringed through their wedding night, reminisced about their childhoods, got to know their families, and cried (yep, actual tears) upon looking back on what might have been. How did McEwan manage to see so much depth in these two characters, and then--on top of that--relate the whole thing in such a small amount of print? Color me impressed.
*Mr. McEwan, please accept my apologies for having held a grudge against you for so long.
**Sam, thanks for a great recommendation!
(By the way, this one is best saved for a time when you can immerse yourself in the story--reading the first half in bits and pieces didn't work so well for me.) (Also, this book counts for my Wishlist Challenge! Yay me!)