Jennifer's Reviews > On Chesil Beach

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
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“This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing.”
If I had to pick one quote to sum up the theme of this multifaceted story, it would be this one. Both of these characters have a lot of growing (and healing) to do and neither one is ready for marriage, and certainly not ready for consummation of any sort. This exquisitely-written story is lovely, sad, and very real all at once. We are watching two people painfully walk on eggshells around each other. They are inexperienced and their preoccupation with the sexual element of marriage causes great internal conflict in terms of expectation, nerves, haunting pasts, and a complete absence of communication about any of it. On Chesil Beach is literary in nature and has deeper underlying issues that readers will likely only pick up on after reading an interview with the author himself (at least that was how it was with me). An interesting snapshot of how marriage may (or may not) function for this particular couple.

Note: Be sure to read the interview with the author that is attached to this novel. In my opinion, it is crucial in order to gain the full reading experience and character perspective intended by the author. In the audio, it is located after the book ends but it completely changed the way I viewed the characters. I wish I had seen/heard the interview first.
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Quotes Jennifer Liked

Ian McEwan
“He was discovering that being in love was not a steady state, but a matter of fresh surges or waves, and he was experiencing one now.”
Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach

Reading Progress

April 4, 2018 – Started Reading
April 4, 2018 – Shelved
April 5, 2018 – Shelved as: adult-content
April 5, 2018 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
April 5, 2018 – Shelved as: listened-to-audiobook
April 5, 2018 – Shelved as: literary-fiction
April 5, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018
April 5, 2018 – Shelved as: book-to-screen
April 5, 2018 – Finished Reading

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