Helena Halme's Reviews > Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
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's review
Sep 16, 2012

it was ok
Read in September, 2012

I so very much wanted to like Ian McEwan's newest book. It seemed to have everything; it was set in one of my favourite periods, in the 1970's, it had a spy thriller element to the plot and it promised some romance. But as one of my Twitter friends commented, Sweet Tooth is boring.

For much of the story, nothing happens to the young MI5 recruit, Serena Frome. Being a woman, and an Cambridge undergraduate with an inferior degree, she is treated as a second class citizen in the service. But she craves more important assignments and soon gets one which includes a talented, handsome young author. Yet, even when the two become lovers, the story moves at a snail's pace.

All through the book there is a question mark why Serena was recruited by secret service, there are shadows in her wake, and there is an old affair which ended abruptly, and mysteriously. But this is not enough to hold the reader's interest. Neither is the secret between the lovers enough to make the story into a tragic one. As for the twist at the end, I'd guessed it at about half point of the novel.

Bad show for such a master of the modern British novel.
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