Mitch's Reviews > Atonement

Atonement by Ian McEwan
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's review
Feb 10, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: literary-fiction

Ian McEwan tackles an interesting idea in this novel- is there a wrong/crime that can never be atoned for?

Of course, to write about that, you have to lay out the crime in thorough detail. As a reader, you hate to see it unfolding.

The parts of the book that covered the retreat at Dunkirk and the following scenes in a make-do hospital are pretty grim reading too- meaning, I guess, that he did a good job describing them.

The actual 'atonement' is a surprise that greets you in the last ten pages...along with the question of whether it's an atonement at all. Can lives damaged by fantasy be redeemed by the same means? The answer, I think, is...

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