Almost a five star book. This is the second book by McEwan that I've read. It confirms for me that he is the best living British author that I've read. The book really is a novella and not a novel.
The book is organized around a sexual encounter and its aftermath. It all the way through works incredibly well. It shows how tiny things can have massive consequences, although that is not the best thing about it. In focusing on the life long implications of small decisions, it is a companion piece to atonement.
It is a quite effective character study of two people. A sort of sketching of their lives, that is organized by this one encounter. The prose is good. Very straight-forward but effective.
A very good book and almost a great one. Highly recommended.