Knopf, 2012 (2012)
Reviewed by Michael Graves
icking up a book by McEwan, one knows one is in for an interesting read. This Booker winner (Amsterdam) novelist is in a class by himself among today's writers.
might not be the best novel that he has written but it is a very readable one that keeps the reader's attention from beginning to end.
he story takes place in the early seventies at a time when the
was at its height, a time when the struggle between the Western world and the Eastern block was prominent in world affairs. Serena Frome - a beautiful girl from a sheltered childhood, whose main passion in life is to read fiction - drifts along without any real goals in life, and ends up working as a lowly office employee for MI5.
fter working there for a period during which she makes a meagre living, she is assigned a mission where it is her job to rope in a promising young writer, T H Haley, and keep a watchful eye on him. MI5 wants to help him along by giving him a stipend in the hope that he will develop into the '
right kind of writer
he relationship that develops between Serena and Haley is what the book is really about. The story line takes somewhat mystifying directions at times and even though
is not a thriller it does skirt the adventure genre.
cEwan has with
again written a book with intriguing characters, a book that has a very interesting plot with many underlying themes.
makes us question our reactions to what we read, but mostly this is a book that explores love and trust.
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