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the new novel from the author of Atonement

Ian McEwan author


Publisher:Vintage Publishing

Published:13th Sep '22

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Lessons cover

Discover the Sunday Times bestselling new novel from Ian McEwan.

Lessons is an intimate yet universal story of love, regret and a restless search for answers.

While the world is still counting the cost of the Second World War and the Iron Curtain has descended, young Roland Baines's life is turned upside down. Stranded at boarding school, his vulnerability attracts his piano teacher, Miriam Cornell, leaving scars as well as a memory of love that will never fade.

Twenty-five years later, as the radiation from the Chernobyl disaster spreads across Europe, Roland's wife mysteriously vanishes and he is forced to confront the reality of his rootless existence and look for answers in his family history.

From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Covid pandemic and climate change, Roland sometimes rides with the tide of history but more often struggles against it. Haunted by lost opportunities, he seeks solace through every possible means ¬- literature, travel, friendship, drugs, politics, sex and love.

Roland's story asks can we take full charge of the course of our lives without damage to others? And what can we learn from the traumas of the past?


'McEwan's writing is as elegant and ideas-packed as ever' The Times

'Lessons triumphantly achieves its primary aim of conveying the "commonplace and wondrous" intertwining of global history and everyday life' Daily Telegraph

'McEwan's wry humanity and gentle amusement at his own generation proves irresistible and a joy to read' Antony Beevor, Spectator, *Books of the Year*

Lessons is easily McEwan's most accomplished novel since Atonement... he offers intelligent reflection on his novel's evergreen themes. * The Times *
I loved Lessons... Deep, life-affirming and A-grade storytelling. * The Times *
Thoughtful, tender and both universal and timeless in its depiction of the follies of the human heart... Ian McEwan is a masterful storyteller who weaves destiny and self-determination, the past and the future, youth and age, and above all, the loss and memory of love. -- Elif Shafak
Captures youthful lust and late-age regret with equal power. * Financial Times *
Superb... another mesmerising, memorable novel. * Independent *
Irresistible and a joy to read. -- Antony Beevor * Spectator, Books of the Year *
McEwan's writing is as elegant and ideas-packed as ever. * The Times *
Elegant and moving, it's his best work in 20 years. * Sunday Times, *Summer Reads of 2023* *
McEwan returns with his best work since the Booker- and NBCC-winning Atonement...Throughout, McEwan poignantly shows how the characters contend with major historical moments while dealing with the ravages of daily life, which is what makes this so affecting. He also employs lyrical but pared-down prose to great effect . . . Once more, the masterly McEwan delights. * Publishers Weekly [starred review] *
McEwan deftly explores the interplay of will and chance, time and memory. * Washington Post *
Lessons should have made the Booker longlist (and shortlist) but no matter. It marks a significant new phase in McEwan's already astonishingly productive career - and may well be remembered as one of the finest humanist novels of its age. * New Statesman *
Magnificent and moving, Lessons is up there with McEwan's greatest works. -- Independent
The Booker-winning author has woven multiple versions of himself into Lessons, his 500-page masterpiece. -- Andrew Billen * The Times *
Superb... A wonderful author has delivered another mesmerising, memorable novel. * Independent *
A tour de force of breadth...McEwan writes with invigorating alertness about social and political shifts over the past 70 years. * Sunday Times *
McEwan's prose always goes down like a cool drink, and its content is often trenchant...I'm delighted to have added this thoughtful, touching and historically grounded novel to my bookshelf. -- Lionel Shriver * Financial Times *
A moving and masterful work that captures the essence of McEwan....The book's psychological astuteness and elegant prose, is a thrill to behold. * Irish Independent *
Compassionate and gentle, and so bereft of cynicism it feels almost radical.... -- Beejay Silcox * Guardian *
Lessons has the wonderful freshness that comes when an author tries something new - along with McEwan's customary wit, insight and compassion. * Sunday Express *
McEwan's deft, descriptive prose charts the complexity of growing up and finding one's place in an ever-shifting world * Cultur Whisper *

ISBN: 9781787333970

Dimensions: 240mm x 162mm x 43mm

Weight: 742g

496 pages