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In this stunning new novel, Ian McEwan’s first female protagonist since Atonement is about to learn that espionage is the ultimate seduction.
Cambridge student Serena Frome’s beauty and intelligence make her the ideal recruit for MI5. The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from over. England’s legendary intelligence agency is determined to manipulate the cultural conversation by funding writers whose politics align with those of the government. The operation is code named “Sweet Tooth.”
Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is the perfect candidate to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer named Tom Haley. At first, she loves his stories. Then she begins to love the man. How long can she conceal her undercover life? To answer that question, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage: trust no one.
Once again, Ian McEwan’s mastery dazzles us in this superbly deft and witty story of betrayal and intrigue, love and the invented self.
“As usual McEwan’s prose is effortlessly seductive.”
—The New York Times
“McEwan’s most stylish and personal book to date … The year’s most intensely enjoyable novel.”
—The Daily Beast
“Ian McEwan’s delicious new novel provides all the pleasures one has come to expect of him: pervasive intelligence, broad and deep knowledge, elegant prose, subtle wit and, by no means least, a singularly agreeable element of surprise.”
“This is a great big beautiful Russian doll of a novel, and its construction – deft, tight, exhilaratingly immaculate – is a huge part of its pleasure … Sweet Tooth is a comic novel and a novel of ideas, but, unlike so many of those, it also exerts a keen emotional pull.”
—Julie Myerson, The Observer
“Thoroughly clever … a sublime novel about novels, about writing them and reading them and the spying that goes on in doing both … McEwan has spied on real life to write Sweet Tooth, and in reading it we are invited to spy on him … Rich and enjoyable.”
“Gloriously readable and, at times, wickedly funny.”