The beginning paragraphs offer up a clue as to the root of their problems—sexual inexperience and lack of communication. But in the pages that follow, we see how the two met, how they gradually reached the point of marriage, and that the seeds of their future discontent sprouted long before that fateful night.
I liked the author’s style of gradually unfolding the actual events of that night: from the opener, followed by the courtship in its various stages, until finally we see the disaster on Chesil Beach.
The author then gifts the reader with the “near misses” of their lives afterwards, and we cannot help but wish that somehow, the two of them would find each other again—improved by age, wisdom, and experience. But alas….there is no happy ending here.
On Chesil Beach could be a cautionary tale for those who would ignore or choose not to engage in serious communication in the beginning of a relationship. But the time period (pre-sexual revolution) is an indicator of why and how these two failed at this task.