Atonement: A Novel

Ian McEwan
Ian McEwan s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose.On a hot summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia s childhood friend. But Briony s incomplete grasp of adult motives together with her precocious literary gifts brings about a crime that will change all their lives. As it follows that crime s repercussions through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century, Atonement engages the reader on every conceivable level, with an ease and authority that mark it as a genuine masterpiece.


Reviewed: 2021-07-05
What a heart-wrenching read. After being on the TBR pile for a loooong time, finally got this on audio. Beautifully narrated FYI. Gorgeous writing that is very evocative and great interiority to the main perspectives. Briony in particular is a fascinating character. Reading this book also cements how fantastic the movie is -- being able to accurately portray all of these characters on the page, as well as the screen. Knowing the ending, this was no less tragic to read.
Reviewed: 2020-06-17
This is one of the 1001 books I MUST read before I die? REALLY? I would give this book 2.5 stars if I could, based on Ian McEwan's writing style, it is beautiful. The actual story, however, was very disappointing.

I guess I did connect with Briony's character...if you can call disgust and hatred a good emotional connection. I kept reading thinking that her character would be redeemed by her actual "atonement", but it never came.

The only parts that really held my interest were the war scenes with Robbie, and the hospital depictions where Briony began her training as a nurse.

I kept waiting for the incredible "plot twist" I had heard so much about, but again, disappointment. This was as predictable as a Nicholas Sparks novel. I don't even know if I'll bother seeing the movie, although it HAS to be better than the book!
Reviewed: 2009-05-18
I have tried on three separate occasions to finish this book, but have not been able to make it past page 66. I also tried to watch the movie, but also quit halfway through. I officially give up an declare this book a lost cause.
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