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Serena Frome, the beautiful daughter of an Anglican bishop, has a brief affair with an older man during her final year at Cambridge, and finds herself being groomed for the intelligence services. The year is 1972. Britain, confronting economic disaster, is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism and faces its fifth state of emergency. The Cold War has entered a moribund phase, but the fight goes on, especially in the cultural sphere.


Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is sent on a ‘secret mission’ which brings her into the literary world of Tom Haley, a promising young writer. First she loves his stories, then she begins to love the man. Can she maintain the fiction of her undercover life? And who is inventing whom? To answer these questions, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage – trust no one.


McEwan’s mastery dazzles us in this superbly deft and witty story of betrayal and intrigue, love, and the invented self.

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Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan is an English novelist and screenwriter. In 2008, The Times featured him on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945" and the Daily Telegraph ranked him number 19 in its list of the "100 most powerful people in British culture".

McEwan began his career writing sparse, Gothic short stories. His first two novels, The Cement Garden and The Comfort of Strangers, earned him the nickname "Ian Macabre". These were followed by three novels of some success in the 1980s and early 1990s.

His novel Enduring Love was adapted into a film of the same name. He won the Man Booker Prize with Amsterdam. His following novel, Atonement, garnered acclaim and was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. His later novels have included The Children Act, Nutshell and Machines Like Me.

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Professionally Packed

All of our books that a have dust wrapper are covered in clear protective, removable film and are packed professionally in bubble wrap and a box for shipping so that they reach you in perfect condition.