Patricia (Patricia's Particularity)'s Reviews > Atonement

Atonement by Ian McEwan
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Aug 01, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorite

Where to start with this book... This was an amazing book! Atonement is told from many different points of views: Briony Tallis, Cecilia Tallis, and Robbie Turner. Briony Tallis is introduced to as a 13-year old who has a passion for writing, and for creating imagined worlds. Cecilia Tallis, Briony's older sister, is more concerned with relaxing and smoking while her mother has one of her "headaches". Robbie Turner, a son of one of the household maids, dreams about going to college for medicine.

The main events behind the whole pot of this book all occur in a single day. Briony misinterprets an interaction taken place between Cecilia and Robbie while looking out her window. To add to Briony's imagination of what she "thinks" took place she intercepts a note written by Robbie addressed to Cecilia. Robbie gave this note by accident, with the intended note still at his house. Inside this note sexual and personal thoughts of Robbie's send Briony's thoughts array. Later on Briony see's an intimate event take place between Robbie and Cecilia, not understanding at all what it means - she believes that Robbie has "assaulted" Cecilia and is thus a bad man. If this wasn't bad enough, one of Briony's cousins is found violated later that night in the woods. Briony automatically believes and accuses Robbie as the assailant.

Briony's accusation sets in motion the events for the rest of the book - Robbie is given the choice to either go to Jail or to serve in the Army; he chooses the Army, which changes him completely. Cecilia becomes a nurse, as she too is changed by Briony's accusation. As Briony grows up she starts to question her actions and realizes her mistake. Can she ever make up for the pain and heartache she has caused, for tearing apart two people who loved each other?
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