When a newly married couple attempts to consummate their marriage in early 1960’s England at Chesil Beach, the unsaid is said along its shores and Florence leaves her eight hour old husband, Edward. Ian McEwan’s short novel Chesil Beach delineates the pre-counter-culture movement between the young couple and their indelible past.
McEwan is a master craftsman switching voices between the couple, drawing on Florence’s musical skill, her husband’s promise to sit in seat 9 row C at her debut concert; upon Edward’s fascination with history, the ever-present apocalypse, and the emptiness he creates when that seat is empty.
Chesil Beach shares themes with his Booker award winning novel Atonement–which is also a movie showing in the States in limited theaters (starring Keira Knightley) and earning 7 golden Globe nominations–of what cannot be undone, the story that can’t be re-written.
Here is my favorite scene from Atonement which is now my all-time favorite movie: