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In this stunning new novel, Ian McEwan’s first female protagonist since Atonement is about to learn that espionage is the ultimate seduction.
Cambridge student Serena Frome’s beauty and intelligence make her the ideal recruit for MI5. The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from over. England’s legendary intelligence agency is determined to manipulate the cultural conversation by funding writers whose politics align with those of the government. The operation is code named “Sweet Tooth.”
Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is the perfect candidate to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer named Tom Haley. At first, she loves his stories. Then she begins to love the man. How long can she conceal her undercover life? To answer that question, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage: trust no one.
Once again, Ian McEwan’s mastery dazzles us in this superbly deft and witty story of betrayal and intrigue, love and the invented self.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
A Wonderful Novel
As one would expect given the background and experience of the author, this novel is beautifully written. But beyond that, the storyline is just plain superb and delights at every step along the way. I can't remember the last time I was so fully satisfied with the the manner in which each character and plot element was introduced, developed, and ultimately brought together at the end.
If you like the kind of writing that only an intellectual like McEwan can provide, you will appreciate this book. If you want that and a brilliant plot to boot, you will find this novel compelling. However, if you want both and are one of those readers who has a pretty extensive background in English literature -- which provides much of the background for this novel -- you will find this literary work to be even a more special treat.
If you think this is going to be a spy novel, you'll be sorry. Think lame relationships and uninteresting characters.
Chapter 17 is missing... The same page repeats 22 times. What now?