5 stars · classic · fiction · romance

Atonement by Ian McEwan



Author: Ian McEwan

Pages [paperback]: 351

Memorable Quote: “A person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn and not easily mended.”

Favorite Characters: Robbie & Cecila


On a summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s 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.


Wow. I had to read this for English class, and as soon as I was finished it, I decided it was one of the best books I’ve ever read. My teacher said that the ending made the book, and that knowing it would spoil the entire thing and she was definitely right.

Although there were some parts of Atonement that seemed to drag on, I loved the writing style and the interesting way in which everything was addressed. That still kept my interest, even when my attention was starting to drift. I loved the little twists of the plot, and how everything wasn’t spelled out in simple terms. By reading between the lines, the reader gets a full grip of the story, its characters, and what exactly is happening to everyone.

Briony annoyed me from the start, and though it’s hard to read a novel in which the main character isn’t very likeable, everything else helped me to forget about that. The settings, all of them, were wonderfully described. I could picture everything perfectly in my mind, from the odd Tallis house, to the evacuation of English troops, to the giant birthday party. This made me want to watch the movie even more, because I’ve heard great things about it. That’ll definitely be one of my next priorities.


8 thoughts on “Atonement by Ian McEwan

  1. I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback about this book. In English class we were asked to read and critique a novel and one of my close friends chose to read this (while I, on the other had read Veronika Decides to Die) and she told me it was a great book. This is also my Englis teacher’s personal favorite. I’ve always wanted to read this but haven’t had the chance to. I’m really intrigued by this book. 🙂


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