I’m thrilled to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for mesmerising new novel Lessons by award winning author Ian McEwan. Thank you to Anne Cater and Vintage Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this moving and thought provoking book.
About the book:
Epic, mesmerising and deeply humane, Lessons is a chronicle for our times – a powerful meditation on history and humanity told through the prism of one man’s lifetime.
When the world is still counting the cost of the Second World War and the Iron Curtain has descended, young Roland Baines’s life is turned upside down. 2,000 miles from his mother’s protective love, stranded at an unusual boarding school, his vulnerability attracts his piano teacher Miriam Cornell, leaving scars as well as a memory of love that will never fade.
Twenty-five years later Roland’s wife mysteriously vanishes, leaving him alone with their baby son. He is forced to confront the reality of his rootless existence. As the radiation from the Chernobyl disaster spreads across Europe he begins a search for answers that looks deep into his family history and will last for the rest of his life.
From the Suez and Cuban Missile crises, the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Covid pandemic and climate change, Roland sometimes rides with the tide of history but more often struggles against it. Haunted by lost opportunities, he seeks solace through every possible means – literature, travel, friendship, drugs, sex and politics. A profound love is cut tragically short. Then, in his final years, he finds love again in another form. His journey raises important questions.
Can we take full charge of the course of our lives without damage to others? How do global events beyond our control shape our lives and our memories? And what can we learn from the traumas of the past?
.About the author:
Ian McEwan is the critically acclaimed author of seventeen novels and two short story collections.
His first published work, a collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His novels include The Child in Time, which won the 1987 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award; The Cement Garden; Enduring Love; Amsterdam, which won the 1998 Booker Prize; Atonement; Saturday; On Chesil Beach; Solar; Sweet Tooth; The Children Act; Nutshell; and Machines Like Me, which was a number-one bestseller.
Atonement, Enduring Love, The Children Act and On Chesil Beach have all been adapted for the big screen.
Lessons is the brand new novel by acclaimed author Ian McEwan. A powerful and emotional story of one man’s journey through life, it tells the story of Roland Baines, beginning as the world is still counting the cost from the Second World War. The historical events of the last century are all here, intertwined with Roland’s life as he goes from vulnerable schoolboy to a man haunted by the choices he’s made in his life.
Reading very much like a memoir, Lessons is a profoundly moving book that takes us through the years, from the Suez and Cuban Missile crises right up to the Covid pandemic and climate change. It’s difficult to find the words to convey just how utterly thought provoking and mesmerising this book is and I’m not sure that any review I write would ever be able to do it justice.
Lessons is a slow burn of a read, but one that’s all the more rewarding because of it. Ian McEwan’s writing is as sublime as always, the story a complicated tapestry of the human spirit in all its many guises. It may not be a book for everyone, but it definitely worked for me and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I finished it.
A mesmerising read, Lessons is a powerful, moving and thought provoking novel that I would highly recommend.
Lessons by Ian McEwan is available to purchase now: