Tuesday 30 April 2024

Saturday... wait

Saturday I knew nothing of Ian McEwan's Saturday before picking it up. It was just another one of his books, another that I wanted to read before settling down to Atonement (I've still got a few to go).

A few pages in and I thought it was going to be a struggle. It's told in the present tense, from the point of view of neurosurgeon Henry Perowne. He wakes in the early hours, looks out of the window to see, in the distance, what appears to be a plane hurtling to the ground. It reminds him of 9/11. There's a dreamy quality to the opening, as if Henry is still half asleep.

Well, I persisted, and once into the second chapter, the story took off. It reminded me of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, in that we follow Henry's movements and thoughts over one day; 15 February 2003, when the anti-Iraq war march took place in London. He drives to the sports centre to play squash, drives to see his mum who has dementia, and looks forward to cooking dinner for his adult children and father-in-law. Of course, there's more exciting stuff within, but it wouldn't be fair to reveal spoilers.

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