Friday 5 November 2010


Finished November 2
Atonement by Ian McEwan, narrated by Jill Tanner

This is the story of the events of a single day in the summer of 1935 and all the things that came out of it. That summer Briony Talis was thirteen and her observations, misinterpretations, and resulting actions cause outcomes she never could have imagined. Her big misinterpretation is of the nature of the relationship between her sister Cecelia and Robbie Turner, childhood friends. Robbie is the son of their servant and has been treated by the family as a protege. Briony's cousins are staying with the family as their family begins to break apart. When the twins run away and her female cousin is assaulted during the search, it is Briony who points the finger at Robbie and this deliberation seals his fate.
The second part of this book is from Robbie's point of view and occurs during the retreat to Dunkirk where he, wounded, leads two officers to the beach from farther inland. We see how he feels, what he sees, and how he treats others.
The third part shows Briony as a young nurse in London, just before and after Dunkirk and how she has dealt with her actions that she now knows to be criminally wrong, and her realization of the awful truth. We see her growth, her guilt, and her lifelong sorrow at what she has done.
Finally we see her in old age, with the long look back at her life and her actions to atone for her guilt.
An amazing read that kept me engaged both by the story and the emotion.

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