08. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Historical Fiction, Janet · Tags:

Atonement by Ian McEwan, 351 pages, read by Janet, on 07/06/2013

Atonement     “Satisfaction given for wrongdoing” is Webster’s definition of “atonement”.  This is the story of a girl who felt her sister stole the attention of a boy she was in love with and let her imagination cause them great problems.  Written in the early 1900’s, in England’s strict behavorial ethics, the lives of all three were greatly affected.  Briony never told the truth about the incident until they were all much older and had suffered the hardships of World War II.  She used her strong imagination to write plays and stories, but could not find peace within herself.  The boy, Robbie, was the son of a cleaning lady, but his intelligence had caught the attention of her father, who welcomed him into their manor and was planning to send him to college.  Thanks to Briony’s story, though, he was sent to prison.  Her mother suffered much of the time in her bedroom with severe headaches and her father was engrossed in his business, so she really had no one to talk to and explain the situation.  The older sister, Cecilia, pretty well ignored her, as she really did love Robbie but couldn’t expect to change the family’s belief in Briony’s story.  The three went in different directions during the war but finally came back together and Briony apologized.  In 1999, Briony worked to tell the real story in her final book.

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