Ian McEwan's fiction never fails to make us think a little differently-about humanity, and storytelling, and the beliefs that comprise our myth and memory. In Saturday, he has created a storyline that brings to bear the full weight these facets in the contemporary world.
With intense precision, McEwan draws us into the life of London neurosurgeon Henry Perowne. Taking place over a single day, Saturday follows Henry as he copes with everyday quandaries: insomnia, aging, the quest for a moment of leisure in the midst of so many obligations. But this particular day ripples with unexpected fears. Before the sun is up, he sees fire glowing from an airplane as it lumbers above the Thames. Newscasters deliver conflicting accounts of the incident. Later, as Henry drives to a game of squash, anti-war protestors clog the streets. And then his car scrapes against another, a fender-bender that should have had only minor consequences. Yet, as much as Henry tries to enjoy an ordinary day, this is not meant to be a day of minor consequences. With every tender encounter-stolen moments with his wife, tea with his fragile mother, marvelous discussions with his grown children-he is looking over his shoulder. As he should be. For this is the day his fears will become realized, and he will have to choose the best means of defense.