Lessons is the story of Roland Baines – from his childhood in Africa to his time in an English boarding school to his life in London when he is in his 70’s. During these years he is seduced by his piano teacher, marries a German woman who deserts him leaving him to care for their young son, and eventually happily remarries. His life is nothing special, he never worked at anything with a passion, but in some ways he is satisfied. Roland Baines is an ordinary man living an ordinary life.
Ian McEwan’s most recent novel is one of his best. Perhaps because the main character is my age, has lived through many of the historical events that I have, and reacted to friends and family as I probably would, I identified with him Lessons is a fine story about a multi-dimensional man. It is my favorite book so far this year.