Atonement

by Ian McEwan | Other |
ISBN: 0721412637 Global Overview for this book
Registered by DJgib of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on 6/6/2012
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Journal Entry 1 by DJgib from Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 6, 2012
On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of her country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge.

By the end of that day the lives of all three will have been chnaged for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.

McEwan has an evocative style that goes into great detail yet somehow manages to leave the right things unsaid. As such this is a rich, yet subtle book and the war scenes in particular are beautifully drawn. However, the style has too much of a 'crafted' feeling, and in all its brilliance failed to really draw me into the characters and their emotions. For all the tragedy of Robbie and Cecilia's lives, I did not find them believable as lifelong lovers and did not particularly care about them as people. Rather, along with the minor characters, they were narrative instruments carrying the literary force, never becoming the rounded figures that the reader can identify with.

Perfectly satisfying as a stylistic exercise and certainly had me turning the pages, but always left me feeling an outsider.

Released 8 yrs ago (7/9/2013 UTC) at OBCZ at the University Centre in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom

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Left on the bookshelf at the OBCZ.

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