On Chesil Beach
is about two young people whose major problem is lack of communication. At he time they live (1962), it was totally unacceptable for a husband and a wife to talk about sex.
But their lack of conversation is not only about their future sexual intercourses: those two young people seem never to talk about anything!. The wedding was planned because it was the logical end of their relationship and because Edward thought that this marriage could overcome Florence's hesitations during their flirting. But their decision to become husband and wife doesn't seem to be the result of a serious reflection.
As they are waiting for the wedding night to come, those two don't even expect the same things. Florence is terrified and disguted by what she knows of sex and wonder if she is frigid. But, instead of revealing the truth to her new husband, she behaves in such a way that Edward thinks she is as eager as he is.
Too young and too naives, they have too many professional dreams to fulfill: all this makes marriage impossible between them.
And, despite the way McEwan emphasizes that they love one another, this was not what I felt when I read their story. Their "I love you" sounded hollow and empty to me, almost hypocritical.