Lessons

by Ian McEwan charts the life and memories of Roland Baines across 70 years of British history, from the aftermath of World War II to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a young boy in boarding school in the 1960s, Roland is abused by his piano teacher, a traumatic relationship that will haunt him for the rest of his life. As a young married father, his wife vanishes, leaving him with their infant son and throwing suspicion on him as he struggles with feelings of loss and abandonment. As Roland’s life progresses, current events frequently bleed into his personal life, showing the ways in which we are all linked to the times we live in. Fans of McEwan from his other works like Atonement will find a familiar emotional depth and resonance in his writing.