Friday, November 30, 2007

On Chesil Beach

No, this isn't a picture of Chesil Beach. It's from our fall trip to Provincetown, a destination I urge you all to consider. We had a lot of fun, and it was also relaxing. I've heard from others that they didn't have the chance to sleep the whole time they were there. That wasn't my experience, but the nice thing about Women's Week is that you can craft the sort of experience that appeals to you.

I just finished a book by Ian McEwan, titled On Chesil Beach. It's a novella, I suppose, since it's quite short. It actually takes place almost entirely in the space of maybe 2 hours. If you've read my IFMHISF series you probably won't be surprised that I was drawn to a book where time moves slowly.

Anyway, I love McEwan's style. He loves words and his descriptions of the seaside are remarkably evocative.

The book is about a young couple on their honeymoon in the early 1960s. I found it interesting because it dealt with the rules and expectations of that time in upper middle class England that were on their way out. But these characters don't know they're at the end of a period. They're just trying to get through their first night together.

I think I enjoyed the book as much as I did because it focused on my primary interest. Human interaction and communication. The characters aren't gifted in this area, and I found myself rooting for them to break out of their narrow boundaries and really speak to each other.

But they have a very hard time doing that, which is really the point of the book.

As I say, it's a short book, but it was very satisfying. I'd get it from the library, but I get most of my books from the library, so that's always my recommendation. Well, except for enticing lesbian relationship novels. Those I'd buy from Brisk Press.