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We meet 13-year-old Briony Tallis in the summer of 1935, as she attempts to stage a production of her new drama "The Trials of Arabella" to welcome home her older, idolized brother Leon. But she soon discovers that her cousins, the glamorous Lola and the twin boys Jackson and Pierrot, aren't up to the task, and directorial ambitions are abandoned as more interesting prospects of preoccupation come onto the scene. The charlady's son, Robbie Turner, appears to be forcing Briony's sister Cecilia to strip in the fountain and sends her obscene letters; Leon has brought home a dim chocolate magnate keen for a war to promote his new "Army Ammo" chocolate bar; and upstairs, Briony's migraine-stricken mother Emily keeps tabs on the house from her bed. Soon, secrets emerge that change the lives of everyone present....
The interwar, upper-middle-class setting of the book's long, masterfully sustained opening section might recall Virginia Woolf or Henry Green, but as we move forward--eventually to the turn of the 21st century--the novel's central concerns emerge, and McEwan's voice becomes clear, even personal. For at heart, Atonement is about the pleasures, pains, and dangers of writing, and perhaps even more, about the challenge of controlling what readers make of your writing. McEwan shouldn't have any doubts about readers of Atonement: this is a thoughtful, provocative, and at times moving book that will have readers applauding. --Alan Stewart, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Excellent. My favourite McEwan. A movie of this book makes no sense, and I will never see it.Published 1 month ago by Pete
This is the story of Briony Tallis and the effect a simple statement makes on the lives of those around her. Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2011 by Heather Pearson
I could not even finish reading this book... which has never happened to me. Ever.
The story line was painfully slow. In fact, there wasn't much of a story at all. Read more
I initially picked this book up because of it's raving reviews. It was good to start, interesting. Without explanation jumps to a large section about war (do not care for war) it... Read morePublished on Jan. 24 2009 by F. Green
This is the first review I have ever written, never really thought to take the time to let others know what I think. But I hope it will help others as the reviews help me. Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2009 by Angela S. Briffett
This book was an incredible masterpiece that introduced me to McEwan's work. McEwan takes a lot of time painting an intricate portrait that involves all the senses. Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2008 by Jubejube
This book, was too long, too wordy and utterly boring. I hated the main character so much I couldn't even finish reading this book. Read morePublished on July 8 2008 by LittleSaintina
This has got to be the most painfully slow, go nowhere book I have ever read. Normally I would have abandoned this 1/4 of the way through but with all the hype around the movie, I... Read morePublished on May 4 2008 by Shepherdess Extraordinaire