Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
In this stunning new novel, Ian McEwan’s first female protagonist since Atonement is about to learn that espionage is the ultimate seduction.

Cambridge student Serena Frome’s beauty and intelligence make her the ideal recruit for MI5. The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from over. England’s legendary intelligence agency is determined to manipulate the cultural conversation by funding writers whose politics align with those of the government. The operation is code named “Sweet Tooth.”

Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is the perfect candidate to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer named Tom Haley. At first, she loves his stories. Then she begins to love the man. How long can she conceal her undercover life? To answer that question, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage: trust no one.

Once again, Ian McEwan’s mastery dazzles us in this superbly deft and witty story of betrayal and intrigue, love and the invented self.
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About the Book
  • Published:
    Nov-2012 (Hardcover)
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    Print / eBook / Audio
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Ian McEwan is an extraordinay author. His characterizations and his writing cadence are extraodinary. This book was really not what I expected. I was expecting a spy thriller book with earth-shattering and catastrophic segments. There is nothing life-threatening or dangerous about this book even though the element of surprise and the fear of the unexpected are both there for the reader. I have to admit that Serena Frome was probably one of the most unlikeable protagonists that I've ever read. She was very well portrayed and that is not why I didn't like her. She is just not a woman that I would be drawn to at all if I was to meet someone like her. She vacillates and can't seem to make a decision to save her life. She's insincere and a bit of a snob actually. She moves through her life and her main goal is to make no waves, stand for nothing and just drift. Having said that, I found the minor characters in the book were wonderful and very real. I especially liked Serena's sister and father. Although we don't see them much in the book, I found them very easy to picture and imagine. There's a lot about love, desire, deceit, creativity (in the form of the written word). Without giving away anything of the plot, there is even an evil character. A character that doesn't loom that large in the narrative, but one whose deception is actually behind the whole story. McEwan does such a good job of laying bare human deceptions and exposing all the cracks and breaks under the gloss of the human facade. It seems to come up and hit you as you read his books.
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