Maybe I'm just not enough of an academic to appreciate this book. Or maybe the books that win awards (much like movies) just plain shouldn't win. Normally I would have quit reading this one about 1/3 of the way in. Since it won the Man/Booker Prize I forged ahead only to see what the fuss was about, even though I was pretty sure it was much ado about nothing.
In brief, a family gathers to bury their brother, and the narrator Veronica seems to be devoid of emotion. She alludes several times to her awkward emotional state resulting from an earlier trauma. Their family history fades in and out of the present story (often) and the reader waits for the big reveal. (It's totally predictable and comes halfway through the book). After slogging through all the heavy handed prose and unlikeable characters I was holding out hope that there would be a payoff of some kind at the end. I guess I'm a reading optimist.
As I was preparing this post, I saw this on shelf life's blog. She says it much better than I could. I only differ in that I'm not sure I would read this author again, she won't be my next Ian McEwan.