Published: London: Johnathon Cape, 2007
Shortlisted: The Man Booker Prize 2007
Read: 15 October 2007
From our conversations I was expecting to find it rich but only distantly engaging - like a beautiful old vase viewed through an antique store window. Actually I was very emotionally engaged by it, I really felt for the characters, and how their internal worlds were so different, unbeknownst to each of them. And how misinterpreted or unspoken actions or words, or choices made in one brief moment, can forever change the course of a life. Very poignant. It actually really did get to me, maybe coming hot on the heels of having been deeply wrenched by Mister Pip and having recently waded through an entertaining but non emotionally engaging Darkmans!
Read: 7 Oct 2007
This is a beautiful book, it is deep and powerful, full of emotion and pin pointing the importance of a single moment. It explores the journey to one choice, on which the whole future of the two main characters rests and how they choose to deal with their feelings, desires, wants, needs and the sense of duty they feel.
The story is wonderfully written, it is poignant and beautifully captures England in the sixties, the description of the beach, the hotel, the setting place you there, looking uncomfortably in on their world as they struggle with their first wedding night. I also admire the subject for this book, dealing so openly and honestly with the competing emotions of the two characters.