Three men are involved in the life of a much-adored photographer, Molly Lane. Two of them, who are long time friends, meet at her cremation - Clive Linley, a famous composer and Vernon Halliday, an editor of a struggling newspaper. The third is Julian Garmony, a government official who is in line to be the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
Vernon Halliday is determined to expose some information that would tarnish the image of Garmony in order to save his position in the company, while Clive, who loves his work and is dying to create a masterpiece, ignores the helpless cries of a rape victim.
This book is very much about ethics and righteousness. Put yourself in Vernon's position, would you or would you not have exposed Garmony's secret even if it means destroying the trust of a good friend? Would you or would you not have helped a rape victim when you're in a midst of arriving at a climax of your composition (that would give you one great masterpiece), something you know you'd miss, if you don't seize the moment?
Overall, it wasn't what I'd expect out of McEwan, after reading his 'On Chesil Beach'. I was really expecting something more engaging, judging from the fact that he is so well known for his other works such as Atonement and The Innocent.
Verdict? 2/5 stars. (Wonder how this won him The Booker Prize Award in 1998....hmm....)
Price: Oops...I lost the price list :( soweee...Shd be around 30 odd Ringgit...