Wednesday, 28 February 2007


AUTHOR: Ian McEwan


DATE READ: March 2006

NOTES: A day in the life of Henry Perowne, neurosurgeon, set against the background of the anti-Iraq war march in London. An apparently privileged man has his world rocked by the events of the day. Every event is told from his point of view (Mrs Dalloway?) and how it impacts on him and his family. From waking early and watching a cargo plane on fire as it flies over the city, (a terrorist attack in the making?) to his final resolve to forgive the man who desecrated the sanctity of his home and family. He gets into a quarrel with another motorist as he hurries to his morning squash match. This ends in being punched by other motorist – and could have been worse but Perowne identifies Baxter as being in early stages of Hodgkinson’s disease, a neurological problem, and uses this information to escape. A bad-tempered squash match with a colleague and then shopping and a visit to his mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s. All this is suffused with thoughts on the marchers and their motives, his own uncertain approach to the coming war, his family and especially his daughter (who is beginning to be published as a poet) and her fraught relationship with her maternal grandfather, who is a well known poet.

This all makes a really compelling read – some lovely well drawn family relationships. He is a faithful husband very much in love with his wife and proud of his children. Beautiful evocation of living in London. A wonderful book.

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