The latest addition to my website is Ian McEwan‘s Lessons. This is McEwan’s longest novel and tells the story of Roland Baines, his friends and family from World War II to the present day, Baines is clearly based in part on Mc Ewan himself but only in part. The basic theme is that we are who we are because of world events but also because of things our parents and others do. This may be very obvious but Mc Ewan shows us how the life of Roland, his wife Alissa and others are shaped by these events. A key event in Roland’s life is when he is seduced by his piano female teacher when he is only fourteen and the affair will change his life. Another key event is when Alissa walks out on him and their one year old son to become a novelist. Both sides of the story are given – the women’s reasons and the effect on Roland. Both parents had been influenced by the war and its aftermath. Roland drifts through life but has a more or less happy life, with ups and downs and we follow the changes he faces and the other main characters face. This is certainly the best McEwan novel for a while .