The incomparable Ian McEwan masterfully entwines espionage and love as only he can in SWEET TOOTH, a wickedly intriguing new novel. The story features McEwan’s first female protagonist since Atonement who is about to learn that espionage is the ultimate seduction.
Read an excerpt of Sweet Tooth.
Read a New Yorker Q&A with Ian McEwan.
The year is 1972. The Cold War has entered a moribund phase, but the fight against Communism goes on, especially in England’s cultural circles. Serena Frome, the beautiful daughter of an Anglican bishop, has just completed her maths degree at Cambridge. Her brief affair with one of her professors leads to an interview with MI5. Serena lands an assignment in Operation Sweet Tooth: the funding of artists and writers with whom MI5’s political views align. Her “target” is Tom Haley, a promising young writer. First she falls in love with his stories, then she begins to fall in love with the man. When his novella wins a prestigious prize, the deceit becomes too much for Serena to bear. But before she can confess, her cover is blown, scandalizing the literary world and crippling MI5’s efforts. Who blew the whistle and why? Ian McEwan will keep you guessing in this superbly deft and witty story of betrayal, intrigue, and love.
Praise for Sweet Tooth:
“A subtly and sweetly subversive novel [that is a] masterful manipulation of the relationship(s) between fiction and truth…Britain’s foremost living novelist has written a book as drily funny as it is thoughtful.”
–Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“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.”
“As usual McEwan’s prose is effortlessly seductive.”
–The New York Times
“An engaging book that’s as much suspenseful drama as it is romantic love story.”