My Favorite Books #4: Atonement by Ian McEwan


Title: Atonement
Author: Ian McEwan
Published: 2003 (Anchor Books)

Brief Summary: In 1935, 13 year old Briony Tallis witnesses an act between her older sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner, the son of one of the servants. Innocent of adult choices and intents added with her gift of writing, she spins a tale that has unintended but devastating consequences for the three of them in the years that follow.

Why I like it:

  • It’s set in the World War II era.
  • I like World War II stories.
  • Except this one doesn’t focus on the typical World War II stories one is used to seeing.
  • In fact, you hear nothing of holocaust and the like.
  • Just people living through war and consequences.
  • Briony is a brat.
  • But Briony was also 13 when the story begins.
  • She doesn’t understand love, flirtations, sensuality (sexuality?)
  • Because she’s 13 and is jealous of something she can’t understand.
  • But then she suddenly understands.
  • And she tries to correct it in her own way.
  • But is that really atoning for herself?
  • Her sister probably wouldn’t have liked it.
  • The movie is awesome, by the way.
  • But then again, Keira Knightley is a good actress.
  • And James McAvoy is too.
  • Maybe because he’s good looking?
  • And Benedict Cumberbatch plays a creepy dude.
  • He even looks creepy.
  • But you should really read the book first.
  • And apparently Briony is an unreliable narrator.
  • I didn’t realize this until years later.
  • I should really re-read it and determine for myself.
  • And how weird is it that our choices can have such long reaching effects into the future?
  • Because wow.
  • A 13 year old’s little story (lie) has devastating consequences.
  • And that’s a bummer.
  • I devoured the book.
  • I should read more by Mr. McEwan.

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