Atonement by Ian McEwan
Book Awards Reading Challenge: NBCC 2002 winner, Man Booker Challenge (shortlist 2001)
If I am going to see clips at the Academy Awards ceremony about this movie, I want to know what the book is about without the ending being given away. This is also a book from the shortlisted books of the Man Booker Prize.
From the cover:
On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their 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 changed 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.
I copied the plot summary from the cover because I don't want to give anything away. I've been carefully avoiding reviews of this book for the past few months so as not to know anything I shouldn't know. All I knew was that it had 'an ending'. And I loved the ending. I won't say any more than that, but I know some people who were disappointed by the ending.
There are three sections to this book: 1934 when the event occurs, Robbie's trek across France during the war, and Briony in present day. I found the war section went on a little too long, but other wise, I sped through this book, reading great chunks at a time and anxious to find out how it ended. McEwan writes great prose, builds suspence, but a little too much with the colours and descriptions at times, but the story moved along nicely, and I've enjoyed my time in prewar England this weekend. It feels good to read a book I've been meaning to read for quite a while, and that it didn't disappoint.