Atonement- Ian McEwan


“From this new and intimate perspective, she learned a simple, obvious ting she had always known, and everyone knew: that a person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn, not easily mended.”

Well, it has finally happened…I was not a fan of this book. I may have jinxed myself though, because I didn’t like the movie either. I try to separate the books from their movie counterparts, if there is one, but I simply couldn’t with this one. They were exactly the same.

Atonement tells the tale of Briony Tallis who witnesses a few things she is not supposed to, as many young girls do, and comes to a conclusion that ends up ruining the lives of two people close to her. Her sister, Cecilia, and a boy that her father (for all intents and purposes) adopts, Robbie. Not one of the voices in the book really captured my attention, in fact I thought most of them a little annoying. The mother, Emily, has two chapters devoted to her and nothing really comes out of them except you learn more about her headaches and they elude to the fact that her husband may be having an affair. The only bit I did liked was when Robbie was writing the letter to Cecilia, the one that eventually leads to his undoing, in his cottage on the Tallis property.

I kept thinking to myself: “it’ll pick up…it has to.” The only time it really did go anywhere was when Briony is a little older and working as a nurse in a hospital during the war, and even then not a whole lot happens. Everything is very “behind the veil”. Which doesn’t make you really care about these characters, at all. I found both Tallis sisters a tad annoying right off the bat and that didn’t really change. Robbie I liked for a bit, but then you get to the end and I found myself not liking I’m at all either. You find him much changed from the war, but he seems like a completely different person. Talking in very short sentences and letting anger get the best of him.

I read on the back of the book Ian McEwen compared to Jane Austen and I agree to a very small extent. In the way he describes the surroundings,yes I agree, but it is in the way his characters don’t make you feel for their predicaments that I disagree. By the end of a Jane Austen novel you are sad to leave her world and her characters, but I was not upset to close this book and leave Briony and her world behind.


About operation100books

Hi, my name's Emily and I'm starting the 100 book challenge. 100 books. 12 months. Can I do it? Update: Needless to say I did not finish the 100 book challenge. I'm still at it though and have strayed from The List entirely; but never say never. I will finish The List...some day. View all posts by operation100books

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