First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther. Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.
The story begins on a windy spring day in the Chilterns when the calm, organized life of Joe Rose is shattered by a ballooning accident. The afternoon, Rose reflects, could have ended in mere tragedy, but for his brief meeting with Jed Parry. Unknown to Rose, something passes between them – something that gives birth in Parry an obsession so powerful that it will test to the limits Rose’s beloved scientific rationalism, threaten the love of his wife Clarissa and drive him to take desperate measures to stay alive.
Totally compelling, utterly and terrifyingly convincing, Enduring Love is the story of how an ordinary man can be driven to the brink of murder and madness by another’s delusions. It is the finest novel Ian McEwan has written in his remarkable career.
Alas, the last working day of the week has finally arrived! The weekend is just around the corner. Happy Friday everyone! The past few days have been hectic. With the yearend closing fast approaching, a lot of financial and accounting records tidying up is ongoing. I just hope all adjustments that need to be done will be completed before the actual yearend close. Yearend also means that we are on the cusp of a new year. But before we welcome the new year, I hope that all of your prayers have been answered. I also hope that you are reaping the fruits of your hard work this year. I hope that you get repaid for all the kindness you have showered the world. I also pray that you are doing well in this time of uncertainty. I fervently hope that the pandemic will end soon.
But before I could fully wrap up this work week, let me cap it with another First Impression Friday update. Reading-wise, the last few weeks of the year also tend to get tedious. I do tend to cram with my reading challenges towards the end of the year. Now, I find myself catching up. I currently have four active reading challenges. I am confident about hitting my Goodreads 2021 reading target of 85 books. However, my priority is my 2021 Top 21 Reading List, of which Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love is a part. It is my 82nd read of the year, making me just three books short of completing my Goodreads target.
Enduring Love is my fourth novel by the British novelist, after Atonement, On Chesil Beach and Saturday. I just started reading the book this afternoon as I completed László Krasznahorkai’s Satantango earlier today; it is also part of m 2021 Top 21 Reading List. I have completed just four chapters but it was enough to give me an understanding of the story. The novel commenced with an accident involving a helium balloon that got unmoored. In the balloon’s basket is a 10-year-old boy; his grandfather was dragged by the unmoored balloon. To bring it to safety, several men gathered together. However, one of the rescuers, John Logan, died.
Among the rescuers is the novel’s primary protagonist and narrator, Joe Rose. He and his long-time partner, Clarissa Mellon were just out for a picnic when the accident happened. From what I can glean from what I have read so far, Joe is a scientist while Clarissa is a university professor. I also got to learn some of the couple’s concerns, such as Clarissa’s inability to bear children and Joe’s guilt from Logan’s demise. Figuring prominently in their story is Jed Parry, also one of the rescuers of the fated balloon. Joe already dropped some hints that he will alter the dynamics of Joe and Clarissa’s relationship. The tension is going to be one of the focuses of the story. How that develops is what I am looking forward to in the story. Will it somehow be similar to how Saturday developed?
On another note, I was pleasantly surprised with the opening pages. McEwan, known for his straightforward storytelling, was somehow trying something new. His brand of realism is astute and devoid of the literary aplomb that his contemporaries, such as Haruki Murakami, Milan Kundera, and Salman Rushdie, are known for. His prose reminds of me Anne Tyler’s. Surprisingly, there were some hints of lyricism in Enduring Love. There were some vividly descriptive passages early in the story. It was a pleasant surprise but it still caught me off guard. This makes it interesting for this was something I didn’t encounter in the first three McEwan novels I have read. Aside from how the story develops, the writing and prose are two facets I am looking forward to.
And that’s it for my First Impression Friday update. How about you fellow reader? What book do you have on your hand right now? How are you enjoying it so far? I hope you could share it in the comment box. For now, have a great weekend ahead! And as always, happy reading!.