Tomorrow by Graham Swift
Waterland is one of my all-time favorite novels. And while I have enjoyed other novels by Swift (Ever After was another good one), none have quite measured up to Waterland.
I had high hopes for this one. It reminded me of Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach, which in retrospect I liked more than I initially thought (McEwan has a sneaky way of writing in a maddeningly evocative way). This, too, feels like a novella. One night in 1995, Paula Hook stays awake, her husband Mike sleeping beside her, braced for the following morning when they will be sharing a secret they have been keeping for years with their 16-year-old twins, Kate and Nick.
Paula begins the story about how she and Mike met, how they have loved one another deeply for 25 years (echoes of McEwan again, who wrote movingly about a loving marriage in Saturday--a novel whose love story some critics thought too idealized, but I found a welcome reprieve from most predictably affair-ridden contemporary fiction). The suspense builds, but I felt a bit let down until the last few pages. There is a nice little twist there that Paula'd been hinting at all along.
But I am sad to report that it just didn't have the resonance of a McEwan novel for me. It was a pleasant, if forgettable read.