Book Review: Nutshell (Ian McEwan)


Nutshell is a classic tale of mystery and betrayal. Played out like a reimagined Hamlet, our narrator is a “fly on the wall” as Trudy and Claude plan and execute the murder of her husband (and subsequently, Claude’s brother). Laced with deceit and infidelity, Ian McEwan weaves a plot that is entrancing and satisfying.

I’d like to start this review with a disclaimer. Ian McEwan is not an author I am normally drawn to. I read Atonement years ago and could not get past the language. However, once I read the plot of Nutshell, I was intrigued. The mystery genre is the one that I always am interested in reading so I figured I would give it a try. Now that I have read this book, I cannot help but me in awe of McEwan’s style.   What a smart and engaging read!

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, most of the novels I have been reading lately are a play on the domestic thriller. This novel is a breath of fresh air in the genre! The novel follows a similar structure but reads more like an Agatha Christie novel.

My favourite part of this book was the incredibly unique narration; the story is told through the eyes of an unborn baby. The fetus is incredibly intelligent and is in tune while his mother starts an affair with his uncle and overhears the plans to murder his father. With quick wit and incredible prose, we are lead on a journey and watch how it all plays out.

This novel will not be for everyone, but I really enjoyed this. It was truly something different while sticking within a genre I enjoy. In a nutshell, I would recommend this novel if you are a lover of literary classics but also want to indulge in a domestic thriller.

Sorry about the pun. I couldn’t resist!

 WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS READ? It’s totally worth the read!

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