Format: Hardcover, 176 pages
Publisher: Knopf Canada
The year is 1962, the place, England. Florence is a prim and proper young lady, a violinist from an affluent family who loves Edward, a history graduate from an ordinary background, and is looking forward to marrying him and spending a lifetime together, but there is one small problem...Florence is repulsed at the thought of consumating the marriage!
I'm surprised she didn't think to talk this over with Edward before the wedding, but then again, this was 1962, before the sexual revolution of the '60's and I am sure it wasn't easy for people to discuss these issues then. ALso, she naively believed that loving your partner should be enough to make the marriage work. Edward, not having had too much experience himself had noticed her reticence the few times he tried to touch her, but mistook it for shyness. So they marry and needless to say their honeymoon (on Chesil Beach in Dorset, after which the book was named) was a bit of a disaster.
As I read Ian McEwan's thirteenth book, "On Chesil Beach", I had to wonder what Florence would have done differently today. Is a lack of sexual desire or even a repulsion of the act easy to talk to about now that we're in the 21st century? Are you considered less of a woman if you cannot bring yourself to have intercourse?
"On Chesil Beach" is an intimate look at a couple's marriage..their expectations, their fears and their frustrations with flashbacks to the time they met and were dating...these flashbacks (which I won't go into here) help explain their complex relationship.
Truthfully, I don't know if I liked this nouvella (it is only 176 pages). I think the writing was just a tad too perfect and exacting (every word in its correct place and not an extra, unecessary word) for my taste. The characters, too, were a little too naive, a little too believing, which made them boring. Also, the source of Florence's disgust is never spelled out.
I think this might have made a good short story...although it is a nouvella (176pages) it has the rare distinction of feeling too long and too short at the same time. Boring might be a good word to describe this book but feel free to disagree with me.
I was tagged by the lovely ml of Zee's Space to do this restaurant meme, so here goes.
1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the state and country you’re in.
Nicole Tan (Sydney, Australia) Also, originator of the tag, thanks, Nicole!
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, USA)
Lotus (Toronto, Canada)
2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.
3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged
I would like to start with one the childrens' favorite places to eat. Chez Cora is a brunch place with many branches all over Toronto and the GTA. We go there early enough for breakfast and devour their delectable French crepes. My favorite crepe is the one featured here, the "April '89" because it's packed with seasonal fruit in a yummy custard sauce ( I tell them to leave out the chocolate spread) and I usually choose to have it in a gauze- thin buckwheat crepe. The kids love their banana and hazelnut spread crepe, which I will admit is yummy, but terribly sinful!
Lahore Tikka House:
As the name suggests, this is the place to go for Pakistani cuisine. It is located on Gerrard Street, or the hood as we fondly refer to it. I am partial to this inexpensive restaurant not only because of its melt-in-the-mouth kebabs and its delicious, fragrant biriyani, but also because my dad was born in Lahore and every time I tuck in to one of the delicious butter naans, my thoughts go my him and my grandmother in whose house I ate my first teaspoonful of butter chicken with naan. If you ever chance to visit this place, don't forget to order some Lahori Kulfi (kulfi is Indian icecream and the house special has malai (cream) and badam (almonds). I have to put out a grease alert on this particular restaurant because many of their dishes come swimming in oil.
Rose Garden Tea House:
This is the tea house at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario. To be able to sit out on a patio right in the middle of some of the prettiest and most fragrant rose bushes in North America being served "propah" Earl Grey English tea, crustless cucumber sandwiches, hot scones with homemade jam and Devon cream and Victorian jam cake is a little slice of heaven right there. I love "High Tea" and never miss the opportunity to bring friends to the Rose Garden Tea House. If you visit me, I promise to take you there! :)
The Boujadi restaurant located in the Jewish quarter of Toronto is a MUST try if you enjoy Moroccan food. Heady smells of fruit, cinnamon and mint greet us as we enter the restaurant and soon I am attacked by a hunger so fierce that I'm literally gnawing on my hand till the chicken medina tagine arrives with the kafta couscous. "Medina" refers to the thick spicy onion/tomato sauce imbibed with saffron and coriander. All the crockery and cutlery used here are traditional Morroccan pieces which add to the dining experience. The Mint tea is to die for!
Asian Wok 'n' Roll:
is another family favorite because it serves delectable Hakka Chinese cuisine with a decidely Indian touch. Hakka cuisine is favored by most connossieurs of spicy food because it bursts with pungent flavors and some kickass garlic-chilli spice. Our favorite dish to eat there is the tangra Masala chicken, a lovely fusion of Chinese and Indian spices, and don't forget the aromatic ginger fish, it will leave you wanting more.
In turn, I would love to tag (in alphabetical order):
Bybee of Naked Without Books: Seoul, South Korea
Milan of Zzz's Creative Mess: Serbia
Radha of Petty-Change: Dubai, UAE
Tanabata of In Spring it is the Dawn: Saitama, Japan
Yianna of Karma Canyon: Athens, Greece