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Atonement

McEwan, Ian

(Book - 2003)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Atonement
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National Bestseller 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.
Publisher: New York : Anchor Books, 2003
Edition: 1st Anchor books ed
ISBN: 038572179X
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Characteristics: 351 p. ; 21 cm

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Nov 19, 2014
  • jazpur rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Ian Mc Ewan's portrayal of the world of Briony Tallis from 1935, through the years of WWII and beyond is quite brilliant. In modern parlance she was the spoilt, often neglected, highly fanciful afterthought in a large British family with servants who lived in an ugly old mansion with a sprawling garden. She went on to work through the war as a nurse and later became a noted novelist.The ramifications of the lie she told about the incident she saw when she was 13 in 1935 affected so many lives.The characters are entirely believable.The various styles of novel writing all play a part in the development of the story. The title is apt but life is never simple..The novel translated to an excellent film.

Jul 26, 2014
  • bookworm41 rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

Not a bad read, but I found it a little slow in the second part. It's interesting because, in my mind, not alot happens in the book in terms of events, but the reader is given alot to think about. Great for a book club!

Mar 22, 2014
  • Lanny213 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This book took me a while to read. The second and third parts were faster than the beginning. There wasn't a nice, neat "wrap up" at the end. I'm looking forward to hearing what other book club ladies think about it.

Mar 11, 2014
  • Library_Lisa rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I did not enjoy this book. I did, however, find it thoughtful and very well-written.

Mar 05, 2014
  • kendradriscoll rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

It has been several years since I read this book, but it still stays with me. McEwan did a remarkably good job of emulating the internal voice of a fanciful 13-year-old girl. The characters were believable, their actions all too human. Overall, the story was compelling, heartbreaking, and above all aptly named. Well worth reading.

Feb 07, 2014
  • wordpix rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Complex storyline, very deftly managed. Loved the sleepy, slow first half and the second half that turned to quick narrative. Very well done and a pleasure to read. Glad to have found a new author!

Jun 21, 2013
  • JOE KEEGAN rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book took awhile to get into, but by the end I really enjoyed it. It's got high level language, and since the author is British, it can sometimes be hard to understand what he is talking about, but I thought it was a great book overall.

One of those books where after you finish the last page you just stare at the wall and think for half an hour.

Apr 22, 2013
  • Shauna_E rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

There are books that are still enjoyable if you've seen the movie. I don't think this is one of them. I would have enjoyed the book much more had I NOT watched the movie first. It took out all the spontaneity and made it a looong read. If you have the option, read the book first. Then watch the movie, which I loved.

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Sep 15, 2012
  • vchuynh rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

vchuynh thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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Sep 15, 2012
  • vchuynh rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This whole story is based on a misunderstanding that goes horribly wrong. Cecilia, a young woman is home for the summer from school. Robbie, the gardener's son is also at home. Cecilia decides to put some flowers in a very expensive vase to welcome the arrival of her brother and his friend. She sees Robbie in the garden and he volunteers to do this for Cecilia, however she wants to do it herself, as they fight to hold the vase, the handle breaks off and it falls into a fountain. Cecilia must retrieve the handle so she strips down to her underwear to dive into the fountain to retrieve it. As she emerges from the fountain, Briony her younger sister sees this from the window and sees Robbie watching her soaking wet sister in her underwear. Meanwhile, the brother and his friend arrive and he invites Robbie to dinner. Robbie decides to attend, and bring a note for Cecilia as he has fallen for her. He makes up many different drafts including a very vile and sexual note as a joke. He finally decides on a note and as he is getting dressed, he quickly picks up the note and heads out. He sees Briony playing outside on the outskirts of the property and he decides its better for Cecilia to see the note before he arrives so he gives the note to Briony to give to Cecilia. Shortly after, he realizes he gave the wrong note to Briony. Briony out of curiosity reads it before actually giving it to Cecilia. When Robbie arrives, he and Cecilia go into the library and he tries to explain to Cecilia. They both realize they are in love and they make love in the library. At the same time, Briony is looking for Cecilia and sees Robbie and her in the library in way such that Robbie looks like he is in an attacking position. During that night, the friend that was visiting the family with the brother rapes the family's cousin who is living with them. The police come and Briony tells them all she has seen and misunderstood. The cousin that was raped did not see who it was because it happened in the dark outside. The police end up arresting Robbie. Robbie must go to war. Cecilia is enraged, cannot stay with her family any longer decides to become a nurse. Briony does as well. Years later, Briony realizes that the friend is the one who raped her cousin, especially after she learns they are getting married. Briony continually tries to atone for her actions. Alas, Robbie dies at war, Cecilia also dies in a flood. All because of a misunderstanding.

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