Atonement by Ian McEwan
From the back cover -
On a summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses the flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives and her precocious imagination bring about a crime that will change all their lives, a crime whose repercussions Atonement follows through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century.
My thoughts -
Ultimately, I have to say that this was a very excellent book. I was very put off at first by the extremely slow start to it, but looking back I think McEwan had to really establish the characters and let the reader get to know them so that when the “crime” happened, it would be all the more important in the readers’ minds. Even with the slow start, I started to enjoy the plot by about page 50 or so, which made the slowness a lot easier to get through. I also became immersed in the incredible writing, so once I got used to the way the book was written, I was just loving and savoring every word. I have to say that there was a chunk of the book in the middle (it has to do with Robbie, for those that haven’t read the book I’m not going to spoil anything, but for those that have, you probably know which part I’m talking about) that I was very bored by. The whole subject matter is something I don’t ever enjoy reading about, and I didn’t feel connected to any of the minor characters in that section, which made it harder to get through. But once that part faded out, I was back into the book, engrossed in the storyline and the characters once again.
I finished this book a few days ago and I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending. Obviously I’m not going to say what happened, but I can’t decide if the way McEwan decided to end things was helpful to the story, it being such an open-ended way of doing things and all, or if it was kind of a cop-out, like McEwan couldn’t decide what he wanted to do with it so he chose to end it the way he did. I’m still not sure. I think I liked the ending but… I’m just questioning it still.
Anyways. This was a pretty excellent book, even though I did have minor issues with it, I’m still very glad I read it, and I’ll definitely picking up more work by McEwan in the future.
Also reviewed by: Caribou’s mom, Thoughts of Joy, Trish’s Reading Nook, Care’s Online Book Club, Educating Petunia, Books for Breakfast, Sadie-Jean’s Book Blog, The Written Word , Lynne’s Little Corner of the World, Books and Cooks, and Musings of a Bookish Kitty.