Vintage is excited to offer reading groups 10 advanced proof copies of Lessons, the brand new novel from Booker Prize-winning author Ian McEwan and the first since his 2019 Sunday Times number one bestseller Machines Like Me.
Groups who take part will also have the opportunity to join an online book club discussion with McEwan’s editor, David Milner!.
When 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. 2,000 miles from his mother’s protective love, stranded at an unusual 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 is forced to confront the reality of his rootless existence. As the radiation from the Chernobyl disaster spreads across Europe 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. Haunted by lost opportunities, 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. His journey raises important questions. Can we take full charge of the course of our lives without damage to others? How do global events beyond our control shape our lives and our memories? And what can we learn from the traumas of the past?
Epic, mesmerising and deeply humane, Lessons is a chronicle for our times – a powerful meditation on history and contingency through the prism of one man’s lifetime.
How to get involved
To be in with a chance of winning 10 advanced proof copies of Lessons to read and review with your reading group please log in and complete the survey below by Tuesday 21 June. If successful, each of your members will be expected to share a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Waterstones or the Reading Groups for Everyone website within eight weeks of receiving the books. Please only pitch if you can commit to this.
Successful groups will also be invited to join McEwan’s editor, David Milner, for an online book club discussion (date tbc).
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If you have any questions about this offer, please get in touch with email@example.com.