Book Review: The Cement Garden

The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Cement Garden is the dark story of four siblings who live together in a large house overlooked by tower blocks. First they have to deal with the death of their father, then their mother; then they do what they have to do in order to keep their family together.

The first paragraph had me hooked, and after three pages I was riveted. The plot is deceptively simple, the characters all distinct and well-developed. The first chapter and the last chapter perfectly close a loop of tension that hangs throughout, which was both satisfying and disturbing at the same time.

Scratching around to find something I didn’t like, I will say the paragraph structure was a little unusual in places, especially those involving dialogue. For example, two different people sometimes speak in the same paragraph; or one person will speak, then another person will think about what has been said. This threw me a couple of times until I got used to it.

Definitely a recommended read. I’m totally blown away by this novella, and will be reading more of McEwan’s work.

View all my reviews.

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