Blog tour: Lessons

Welcome to the blog tour for Lessons by Ian McEwan!

More about the book…

While 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. Stranded at 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, as the radiation from the Chernobyl disaster spreads across Europe, Roland's wife mysteriously vanishes and he is forced to confront the reality of his rootless existence and look for answers in his family history.

From 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, politics, sex and love.

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 us and our memories? What role do chance and contingency play in our existence? And what can we learn from the traumas of the past? contingency play in our existence? And what can we learn from the traumas of the past?

More 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.

My impressions…

First of all, how have I been given the honour of reviewing the latest novel by Ian McEwan? I mean, I am simply me… a common mortal. While Ian McEwan is… I mean, he is THE Ian McEwan. Having this gorgeous book in my hands makes me feel dizzy!

But to the book… how can a single story feel so personal and so historically relevant at the same time? That is the magic of this novel. We follow Roland, from childhood to old age, but his life is not suspended in a bubble. His life is deeply rooted in what is happening in the world that surrounds him. Do the times we live in shape who we are? Do the people we meet shape who we are? How? Lessons gives us a chance to think about these questions and try to find some answers.

Three words to describe it. Epic. Rich. Thought-provoking.

Do I like the cover? I love all about it, especially how bold it looks.

Have I read any other books by the same author? Yes, but not as many as I would like. Among those I did read, however, Atonement is one of my favourite books ever and On Chesil Beach is spectacular too.

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