This month I’ve had the pleasure of reading Ian McEwan for the first time – and I really do mean pleasure. If, like myself, you didn’t read this book when it was first released in 1998 you simply must hunt it down and read it now. The Book Grocer is stocking it for a lovely $10. Grab a copy ASAP. You’ll thank me for it. Until you do, enjoy the review.
Happy reading xx
What were we running towards? I don’t think any of us would ever know fully. But superficially the answer was, a balloon.
Thus begins McEwans magnetic novel. His tone is careful and his prose observant, in this electric tale of love; obsessive, fleeting, enduring or otherwise.
McEwan doesn’t waste a moment beginning his story, throwing readers straight into the middle of the book’s action from the very first page. We think that what we’re witnessing is a ballooning accident, we know however, that it’s so much more.
Present at the scene of the accident, science writer Joe Rose narrates us through the ripple like consequences that ensue post That Day. What begins as a relatively reliable narration, as McEwan’s novel progresses, shows signs of unravelling at the seams. And so themes of memory and its accuracy, permanence and time start to weave themselves through McEwan’s narrative also.
Here or there an odd chapter or two is narrated by Rose’s wife Clarissa and fellow witness to the accident Jed, providing readers with a more rounded perspective of Rose’s character and the events of the novel. The greatest strength of the book, however, lies in McEwan’s masterful ability to create suspense; a suspense so convincing that it holds readers firmly in its grasp for the duration of the novel.
What happens after the ballooning accident that comes between Joe and his beloved Clarissa? Why is Jed such a significant aspect of the narrative? To whose love does the brave title of McEwan’s book refer?
Enduring Love is one of those books that demands its readers’ attention – and rightly so. It is, after all, about that little thing called love, and how we ‘do’ it.