From The Washington Post:

Book_2 In the summer of 1962, Edward Mayhew and Florence Ponting are married in the English university city of Oxford. The wedding “had gone well; the service was decorous, the reception jolly, the send-off from school and college friends raucous and uplifting.” Now they are alone, dining “in a tiny sitting room on the first floor of a Georgian inn” at Chesil Beach, on the English Channel. They are happy, yet almost indescribably nervous: “They were young, educated, and both virgins on this, their wedding night, and they lived in a time when conversation about sexual difficulties was plainly impossible.”

This breathtaking novel, Ian McEwan’s 11th, tells the story of that night. Like a number of his previous books — among them The Cement Garden, The Comfort of Strangers, Black Dogs and Amsterdam On Chesil Beach is more a novella than a novel, weighing in at around 40,000 words, but like those other books it is in no important sense a miniature. Instead, it takes on subjects of universal interest — innocence and naiveté, self-delusion, desire and repression, opportunity lost or rejected — and creates a small but complete universe around them. McEwan’s prose is as masterly as ever, here striking a remarkably subtle balance between detachment and sympathy, dry wit and deep compassion. It reaffirms my conviction that no one now writing in English surpasses or even matches McEwan’s accomplishment.

More here.