ISBN-13: 9780385522403
Publisher: Doubleday Publishing
Pub. Date: June 2007

It is Year 1962. Edward and Florence are newly wed couples, both young and full of dreams. Florence is a talented violinist who dreams of performing on the concert stage one day; and Edward is an intelligent young history student at a University College in London. They met by chance and fell in love with each other. And they wholly believe that their marriage will bring them happiness and the freedom they have craved.

But then, both of them have their own insecurities. Florence is overcome with worry and mixed emotions about their wedding night and seems to repel the idea of their consummation; and though Edward is eager, he also worries what Florence will think about the whole thing, after all Florence is a shy and sensitive young lady.

Ian McEwan has written an exquisite, precise story in On Chesil Beach about two young lovers' insecurities and their opinions about consummation, and how their unspoken thoughts will affect their lives thereafter. Though the story is beautifully written in typical McEwan's style, I just couldn't get sucked into the story and/or asked myself what would happen next. I enjoyed reading Atonement (which I think is a classic), but I just couldn't feel the same in this story. Perhaps the reason is, I just couldn't find anything interesting or exciting about a couple facing their difficulties in expressing their thoughts especially when communications about sex is considered a taboo at that time. I really wanted to rate it better for this book; and I think Mr. McEwan has a way with words but regrettably this story just isn't my cup of tea. I am hoping his next book will be better.

Note: Because I enjoyed Atonement so much, I went out the way to buy another copy with a different cover, as well as the movie soundtrack. I am currently looking forward to the DVD which I hope will be released very soon.
12 Responses
  1. Debi Says:

    I'm sorry this one was a disappointment for you :(

  2. Ana S. Says:

    It's too bad you didn't like this one as much. Sometimes that happens, though. Some stories just fail to draw us in.

    I keep hearing about how beautiful Ian McEwan's writing is, and that's made me very very interested in reading him.

  3. Jeane Says:

    Even though you didn't care for this book, your review keeps my interest high enough to try and read it (as well as others' more positive reviews). Thanks for the link, by the way! I'll add yours presently.

  4. Iliana Says:

    I still have this one on my wish list but I have heard some mixed reviews now. I actually didn't like Atonement so much so maybe I'll like this one instead! ha,ha...
    Have you read Saturday? I liked that one quite a bit.

  5. Melody Says:

    Debi - That's right, I was disappointed but I'm always hoping that the next one will be better. :)

    Nymeth - Oh, please do give his books a try. I haven't read all his books yet; so far I had only read Atonement, Amsterdam and this one, but as you can tell Atonement is my favourite so maybe you can give that book a try! ;)

    Jeane - Thank you! I always try to write my true opinion on the books I read, although it bothers me that some of the reviews came out to be negative. My intention is to share with the readers about my thoughts and nothing else. :)

    Iliana - That's right, who knows that you'll really enjoy this one? Haha... Do let me know if you read it one day, for I'm keen to hear your thoughts. ;) Nope, I haven't read Saturday yet, but I do have it in my pile. ;)

  6. Kim L Says:

    I'd like to read Atonement, but sounds like I might just skip this one for a while. Thanks for the review!

  7. Melody Says:

    Kim, I hope you'll enjoy Atonement. Please do let me know your thoughts if you've read it. ;)

  8. Jane Says:

    This one does not sound very exciting but I still will be reading Atonement.

  9. Melody Says:

    Jaimie, that's great! I'll be looking forward to reading your review. ;)

  10. I have heard mixed reviews of On Chesil Beach, and so I imagine you are not alone in being disappointed in this one. I will probably give it a try just to see myself, but I will keep my expectations low. Like you, I really liked Atonement. I am hoping to read the author's Saturday soon. I hear that one is good as well.

  11. Melody Says:

    Wendy, I look forward to your review. I'm always interested to hear what other readers think about this book, even though if I didn't really enjoy it as much. I've Saturday in my pile so I'll be looking forward to reading that as well. :)

  12. Melody Says:

    Aradana - Thanks for the link.

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