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On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
On Chesil Beach tells of the honeymoon night in 1962 for Florence and Edward in a hotel near Chesil Beach. It's a night of anticipation and fear for the two of them. Edward is a historian originally from the countryside, marrying up in class when choosing Florence. The few moments of near intimacy for these two virgins that they've already shared have been unsettling moments. Edward is eager to finally take his bride, but she's in desperate fear of intercourse. They share an unappetizing meal before retiring to their room, both of them dancing around the anticipated wedding night during an era where any talk or knowledge of sexual difficulties is rare. Ian McEwan's novel has received mostly positive reviews with The Independent saying, "I can't reveal more of the plot, because it all hinges on this wedding night. But it is a fine book, homing in with devastating precision on a kind of Englishness which McEwan understands better than any other living writer, the Englishness of deceit, evasion, repression and regret."