This is the second McEwan novel that I've read. The other was 'Atonement' long before the film was made. I was not disappointed with either. I'm not a novelist so am always impressed when I read a novel that seems to capture the thoughts and feelings of people unlike the author in such an apparently authentic way. I write apparently since I was neither a young man or young woman in the 1950s as the main characters are, but McEwan made his characters very believable for me. McEwan builds up a wonderful sense of unease and carries this right through the novel which concerns a relationship in which the main characters are unable to communicate their sexual intentions and fears in the period immediately before the emancipation of the 1960s. This is a novel that engages the mind and the heart although one feels like screaming at the characters "just speak to each other" but of course the whole point is that they don't (maybe like many young people of that period). One of my favourite reads this year.
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