On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

The ‘blurb’
It is July 1962. Edward and Florence, young innocents married that morning, arrive at a hotel on the Dorset coast. At dinner in their rooms they struggle to suppress their private fears of the wedding night to come…

This is a very gentle story of two people and their first sexual experience. For those of us who grew up in more liberal times, it’s rather hard to imagine a time where people didn’t discuss their feelings, fears, wants etc before embarking on the lifetime commitment of marriage.

Edward shows a complete lack of compassion and understanding towards his new wife. She is terrified of having sex for the first time – he can think of nothing else. If he’d talked to her about her worries and been patient then it’s likely they’d have overcome these fears and worked things out. As it was, he was rather gutless in letting her walk away – he was thinking only of his needs and not considering hers.

I can’t say it was the most exciting book that I’ve ever read, and on that basis I wouldn’t say to anyone that it is a book they must read but I think the word ‘quaint’ sums this book up nicely and on that basis, I enjoyed it!

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