In 1935 Britain, a thirteen-year-old girl’s overactive imagination and accidental brush with the c-word lead her to send an innocent man to prison for a sex crime. While the first half covers the misunderstanding, the second deals with the grim early days of World War II, both on the French front and in the hospitals. Everything about this book feels like it shouldn’t work (historical fiction, child narrator, loaded politics) but it does, which speaks to McEwan’s skill as a storyteller. Though the prose is often slow, there are enough hard-hitting dramatic moments to make this an intense read.
Where I Got It
From a friend who was getting rid of books in the summer of 2015. I have mixed feelings about movie cover tie-ins, but this one pulls it off quite well.