It's over. I hear it every where I go this week. "Now that summer is over..." " Start of fall." "First day of autumn." "Clean and stow the beach chairs." Still unwilling to accept this. I look at the photo above and imagine how many more trips to the beach September might offer. So I sought out a beach read with heft, not in the sense of number of pages for the volume below is slight and quick in that regard, but rather, a substantive theme that might feature a beach locale.
Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach is the gem I needed. The language is gorgeous, revealing, sometimes humorous and the pacing of this short work is so expertly executed that the book is read and done before you expect. McEwan shares two internal monologues of a young couple on their wedding night in 1962, pre-sexual revolution. One reads on entranced by what must certainly end in an emotional train wreck wishing only that the newlyweds had the same knowledge of one another that you have via the omniscient narration. Virginity is a substantial hurdle to clear in and of itself at this time in the sixties but mix in class distinctions, incestuous abuse, and an inability to articulate one's most profound fears and you have one compelling read. And it is quick enough to fit into the busiest of (sigh) fall schedules.