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Book Reviews

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.

By Brian Heys

Writer. Reader. Horse rider. Photograph maker. Usually overdressed. Bald and bearded.

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