Select one of the keywords
Sweet Tooth    by Ian McEwan order for
Sweet Tooth
by Ian McEwan
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2012 (2012)
* * *   Reviewed by Michael Graves

Picking 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. Sweet Tooth 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.

The story takes place in the early seventies at a time when the cold war 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.

After 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'.

The 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 Sweet Tooth is not a thriller it does skirt the adventure genre.

McEwan has with Sweet Tooth again written a book with intriguing characters, a book that has a very interesting plot with many underlying themes. Sweet Tooth makes us question our reactions to what we read, but mostly this is a book that explores love and trust.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Contemporary books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews