Edward and Florence are a proper young couple, just married, honeymooning at the beach, and both anticipating what is to come, although one with anxiety and the other with something that seems like disgust. The moment draws near, filled with far more tension, thanks to McEwan’s building of suspense, than you might think possible (although it’s the 60s, so times were different). The action is prolonged as their tongues engage. She’s moaning, he’s getting close, and then . . . oh, I can’t tell you that—it would ruin the ending. McEwan does a masterful job with the pacing of the story, particularly at the end when pace is on everyone’s mind!
December 25, 2006 and January 1, 2007: "On Chesil Beach" by Ian McEwan