Hm, this was a tough one. At first the slow pace put me off, then a pretty serious event that made me very uncomfortable. Given that some believe it to be a quasi-memoir and one of McEwan's best, I wanted to persevere. At the next almost quitting moment, I searched up a review which pointed out the really well done, complex historical writing content which has been interwoven into what I was finding to be an unsettling story, so, I gave it another go. The history was so well stitched into the story that I kept with it, learning or relearning a lot along the way. I was glad that I did as I became more open to it's welcome literatary pleasure - the language and writing sorely missed recently. Overall I was shocked by the evil female characters most often played by men throughout history, yet I guess it was time they were revealed and brought to account as many have existed and likely still do today.