Sweet Tooth

By Ian McEwan
(Nan A. Talese, Hardcover, 9780385536820, 320pp.)

Publication Date: November 13, 2012

List Price: $26.95*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the November 2012 Indie Next List
“Cold War espionage, illicit love affairs, and a coming-of-age story all wrapped into one? Only McEwan could pull off this ambitious story. Meet Serena: just out of university, recruited for MI5, and chosen for a special project with the code name Sweet Tooth. Serena is beautiful, intelligent, and becoming sure of herself as she settles into her adult life. Her confidence is shaken, however, as Sweet Tooth gets underway and the truth about friends, lovers, and MI5 colleagues comes to the surface. Once again, McEwan presents a beautifully crafted novel, one that keeps you turning the pages while encouraging deeper thoughts about love and trust.”
-- Kate Bonilla, Third Street Books, McMinnville, OR


Description

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.




About the Author
Ian McEwan is the author of a number of novels and short story collections for adults, including First Love, Last Rites, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, The Comfort of Strangers, which was nominated for the Booker Prize, Amsterdam, winner of the Booker Prize, and his latest novel, Atonement, which was also nominated for the Booker Prize and is a New York Times best-selling title. The Daydreamer is his first book for young readers. He lives in London, England.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. What is the significance of the epigraph taken from Timothy Garton-Ash’s The File: “If only I had met, on this search, a single clearly evil person”? How does it tie in with the major themes of Sweet Tooth and McEwan’s method of characterization?

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