The world is forever changing. But for so many of us, old wounds run deep.
Ian McEwan’s Lessons is an intimate yet universal story of love, regret and a restless search for answers.
When the world is counting the cost of the Second World War and the Iron Curtain has descended, young Roland Baines’s life is turned upside down. Stranded at boarding school, his vulnerability attracts his piano teacher Miriam Cornell, leaving scars as well as a memory of love that will never fade. Twenty-five years later Roland’s wife mysteriously vanishes, leaving him alone with their baby son. He begins a search for answers that looks deep into his family history and will last for the rest of his life. From the Suez and Cuban Missile crises, the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Covid pandemic and climate change, Roland sometimes rides with the tide of history but more often struggles against it. He seeks solace through every possible means – literature, travel, friendship, drugs, sex and politics. A profound love is cut tragically short. Then, in his final years, he finds love again in another form.