Considered by many critics to be the novel that should have won Ian McEwan the Booker Prize, ENDURING LOVE is an extraordinary exploration of love, faith, and obsession, the story of two delicately ordered lives thrown out of balance by a desperate, deranged passion. Joe Rose is a scientist by training and a science writer by trade. Though he has a secure, loving relationship with his wife, Clarissa, the stillborn specter of the scientific career he might have had still haunts him. Clarissa also has her ghosts -- those of the children a medical mishap has left her unable to bear. Despite these disappointments, they have established a careful emotional equilibrium between themselves and their professional lives. But while hiking through the Chiltern Hills one windy spring afternoon, Joe and Clarissa become unscripted players in a hot-air balloon tragedy that leaves one would-be rescuer dead and saddles Joe with the ardent and unwanted attentions of a disturbed young man.
The novel is lyrical and engrossing. Episodes have an emotional impact that forges associations (I will always remember of a piece the opening chapter and the setting in which I read it). Readers of JAMA will find pleasure and provocation in Enduring Love.