Atonement Author:Ian McEwan On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her older sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching Cecilia is their housekeeper's son Robbie Turner, a childhood friend who, along with Briony's sister, has recently graduated from Cambridge. — By ... more »the end of that day the lives of all three will have been changed forever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had never before dared to approach and will have become victims of the younger girl's scheming imagination. And Briony will have committed a dreadful crime, the guilt for which will color her entire life.
In each of his novels Ian McEwan has brilliantly drawn his reader into the intimate lives and situations of his characters. But never before has he worked with so large a canvas: In Atonement he takes the reader from a manor house in England in 1935 to the retreat from Dunkirk in 1941; from the London's World War II military hospitals to a reunion of the Tallis clan in 1999.
Atonement is Ian McEwan's finest achievement. Brilliant and utterly enthralling in its depiction of childhood, love and war, England and class, the novel is at its center a profound -- and profoundly moving -- exploration of shame and forgiveness and the difficulty of absolution.« less
I tried to read this book a few years ago, but I couldn't get into it. I must say, I'm glad I tried again. This time around, I couldn't put the book down. It's a beautifully written story, and the author perfectly captures the emotions of the characters and the moods of the situations. I can easily see why this was on Time magazine's list of 100 all-time novels. It was one of the best books I have read in a while. It's a captivating story and remarkably well-written.
This is one of the best books that I have ever read.
Mr. McEwan's writing is incredible. His descriptions of places and characters put the reader right in the scene. The author squeezes out of us a whole range of emotions while reading this book. We go from love to hate to fear to hope and despair.
I can't wait to read his others.
It is a quiet summer day in 1935 England. This otherwise peaceful day culminates in a single tragic event that entirely shapes the second part of the story. McEwan uses first half of book to describe this days happenings from many points of view. The replay of simple domestic activities through the eyes of one person after another slows the story at first. Story picks up intensity towards the end of part I.
The story is action filled WWII fiction in part II. The reason McEwan retells story from so many different points of view in part I becomes clear in last 50 pages. Recommended mostly for those who enjoy character driven fiction or European period writing.
Well written story, a Golden Globe winning film in 2007.
I only wish I could call this book an easy read. To me, Atonement was a struggle, only because I knew such an emotional book could only end in heartbreak. I found Atonement hauntingly beautiful, and though I finished it three or four days ago, I find myself constantly thinking about the questions the book raises. My first Ian Mcewan, but definitely not my last. I am also planning on reading No Time For Romance, by Lucilla Andrews, whom Mcewan borrowed from to bring Atonement together.
I've just finished, and all I can say is... wow. Just wow. I stepped into this book (and the movie) knowing exactly what the ending was, but that didn't prepare me at all. Both movie and book made me cry about five times apiece. (Even on the second time I saw the movie.) You will genuinely feel for these characters-- you will hate Briony, you will empathize with Cecilia, but most of all, you will feel horrible for Robbie. Oh how I loved and pitied him! I credit Ian McEwan for giving a startlingly realistic depiction of the war and being able to evoke such human emotion. Read this book, or at the very least, see the movie. They're both excellent.