On Chesil Beach is a story about, love, passion and fear. Two young and virginal (it's important) people are getting married and spend their honeymoon on Chesil Beach, on the Dorset seashore. Edward Mayhew, 23 is a graduate from University College London in history. His family is poor, his father is a teacher and his mother has mental issues. He loves history very much and always has some history book in his pocket to read whenever he has a spare minute. He studied a lot about so called “great man” theory and believed that “A ruthless personality, naked opportunism, and good luck, could divert the fates of millions”. He meets his future wife in college. Florence Ponting is a violinist in a string quarter. She is 21 and the music is her only passion in life, her biggest dream is to become a first violin in the orchestra. Her parents are richer than Edwards and they have different background and polar views on life, but still love unites them.
Their marriage wasn’t a great event just for relatives and friends, but the atmosphere was great (the narrator doesn’t accentuate the importance of the event), after the wedding ceremony newlywed go to the Chesil Beach to spend their honeymoon in a little hotel. Their wedding night is coming, but there is a problem, Florence is afraid to have sex with Edward, the only thought of it is disgusting for her. Edward, in his turn is sexually motivated and cant wait this moment of closeness. But being overexcited, he finishes before he got into her. Florence is dying from shame and disgust and runs away. Edward is angry, he follows her to the beach and they have a quarrel where they finally find out truth about each other: Florence doesn’t want to have sex with Edward and he wants it too much. Florence even offers him to have sex with other women and she wont be angry, Edward is shocked, he says that she lied in their woes. Florence is ashamed and leaves the beach. In the end, they separated.
It was the last time they saw each other: Edward was free to satisfy his sexual desires, and he was even married, but it didn’t last long and Florence realized her dream and became a successful musician. Edward reminisces their last evening together and wonders what would happen if they didn’t separate then, but it was too late to change anything and the only thing that left for him is to remember the image of “the girl with violin” on the beach walking away from his sight and out of his life forever.