Lessons is an intimate yet universal story of love, regret and a restless search for answers.
While the world is still 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, as the radiation from the Chernobyl disaster spreads across Europe, Roland's wife mysteriously vanishes and he is forced to confront the reality of his rootless existence and look for answers in his family history.
From 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. Haunted by lost opportunities, he seeks solace through every possible means ¬- literature, travel, friendship, drugs, politics, sex and love.
Roland's story asks can we take full charge of the course of our lives without damage to others? And what can we learn from the traumas of the past?
About the Author
Ian McEwan, born 21 June 1948, is a British novelist and screenwriter, and one of Britain's most highly regarded writers. In 2008, The Times named him among their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
McEwan began his career writing sparse, Gothic short stories. The Cement Garden (1978) and The Comfort of Strangers (1981) were his first two novels, and earned him the nickname "Ian Macabre". These were followed by three novels of some success in the 1980s and early 1990s. In 1997, he published Enduring Love, which was made into a film. He won the Man Booker Prize with Amsterdam (1998). In 2011, he was awarded the Jerusalem Prize. In 2001, he published Atonement, which was made into an Oscar-winning film. This was followed by Saturday (2003), On Chesil Beach (2007) and Solar (2010).