Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review, No. 2

Truth be told, I finished this book back in January. I wrote a review for it then but, for some reason, I never posted it. Actually, there are a few of those. So here they come in a wild stream meant to make me look like an overtly voracious reader.

Ian McEwan's acclaimed novel takes place in London, starting in-between the two World Wars where a poor young man and a wealthy young woman fall in love only to be torn apart by a little girl's lie that she spends her whole life trying to make right.

I picked up this book because I thought the movie looked gorgeous. I never saw it, but just the richness and the texture, that vibrancy. And I can never say no to a pretty book. Unfortunately, I was quickly disappointed.

I knew how it would end; I went in knowing. I was actually looking forward to the shock, the beautiful wrap-up meant to be true to its name. But it was never there. The romance didn't seem real at the end. There was too much anger, obvious resentment—justifiable, sure, but isn't love meant to transcend those emotions? And I just never saw it. Robbie's narrative was the best, and I wish I could have seen more of Cecilia's, but the characters were mostly unlikeable. No, they were inaccessible. I wasn't made to care; there was too much time spent on the obscene, the coarse. I knew it wouldn't be a flowery love story, but I thought there'd be that lavish, forbidden, impossible love affair that had you crying at the end. I suppose I wanted too much. The idea was there. It could have been beautiful, but I think I just disagree with the author's methods. His love seemed vile and tainted, even caustic at times.

Besides, it is mean to be about atoning for a mistake, and yet the narrator is more possessed with redeeming herself, not those hurt by her. That was worst of all.

I don't think I'll rate it, because I would never recommend it.

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