this is a four-star book, but I can't bring myself to give it four stars because of *expectation*... book starts, english upper class, pre-war, servants and linen and silver, and then... bam. a hidden wall. the writer can't actually penetrate upper class anxieties and realities, so we quickly cop out to the literary device(s) sketched out in other reviews.
because McEwan has written this book, I want to track down his other writing. in fact, I think I did. I think I read that 'chesil beach.' anyway, i do want to keep reading, but he keeps falling just short of being Waugh. or being Nabokov. of being, well, great.