Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

Publisher: Knopf Canada
Pages: 320
Received: Received from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: August 28, 2012
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

Serena Frome, the beautiful mathematician daughter of an Anglican bishop, has a brief affair with an older man during her final year at Cambridge before taking a job with MI5 in London. The year is 1972: Britain, confronting economic disaster, is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism; the Cold War has entered a moribund phase but the fight goes on and British Intelligence hesitates at little to infuence hearts and minds. MI5 sends Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, on a secret mission that brings her to Tom Healy, a promising young writer. First she loves his stories, then she begins to love the man. Can she maintain the fiction of her undercover life? What is deception and who is deceiving whom? To answer these questions, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage -- trust no one. Ian McEwan's mastery is more dazzling than ever in this superb story of intrigue, love... and mutual betrayal.

My Review:

So ever since reading Atonement I have loved Ian McEwan's writing and have been trying to read through all his books (haven't actually started that list yet but am trying to get there), so I knew I had to get my hands on a copy of his new book. I'm glad I did, it was definitely worth the time I put in to read the story.

I find that McEwan has a unique writing style from what I am used to reading usually, and I really love it. His descriptions are very vivid and the story seems to always have this intense idea behind it with the romance leading to so much more drama. I love how the romance of his stories always leads to something bigger, it keeps you interested in what is going to happen in the story.

I did take awhile to read SWEET TOOTH, I find that it is a book that you will need to devote your time to and not one that you can just read in the middle of doing other things. McEwan is a writer that calls for you full attention (not that I don't with most books, but there are those books that you can pick up and put down easily in between things... this is not one of those). I do feel like a part of me did not devote enough attention and I want to go back and reread it because I know I will love it more than I do now and I think I can learn more about the characters in a second reading (I debated just turning back to the first page after finishing the last page. I feel that because I did not give enough attention I had a few troubles getting through everything and really understanding what was happening with some things (I had to go back a few times to reread something). But as I continued I found I couldn't turn away and put more energy into the book because I needed to know what was going to happen next with the characters and see how they would get out of some of the predicaments.

The best part of this book that really drew me in was how the literary world had such a strong impact on the story. It brought so much more to the story, McEwan does such a beautiful job describing the literary scene and T.H. Haley's stories throughout. And finding out how Haley comes up with ideas for his stories was interesting.

My favourite part of SWEET TOOTH was the final chapter. I did not see what happened coming at all. I find that the last chapter was done amazing and really finished the story well, it was one of the best closures to a story for me. This story has confirmed for me that McEwan is an amazing storyteller and just reinforces my need to read all his previous works one day.


  1. I'm so excited to read this one! I absolutely love the cover and the premise sounds really interesting too! :) Great review Andrea.. definitely looking forward to this book!

  2. I haven't read or seen Atonement, but I'm about to add the book to my TBR list, and I'm pretty sure I've got the movie in my Netflix queue. This book sounds really interesting, too, with the espionage and the writing all mixed together. Very cool! Great review, Andrea! :D



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