Posted by: Naomi | May 20, 2011


One of the most provocative and scintillating books I have read thus far is Atonement by Ian McEwan. It is a beautiful and introspective tale of love and lies, loyalty to family, and relationships–both healthy and destructive. McEwan has a wonderful command of language, and is an artful storyteller, but the thing I found to be the most enticing about the book was the character development. A lot of time and detail is spent on describing the characters motivations and inner thoughts. This is extremely important and helpful in the understanding of the inner workings of the story. I was at once angered with and enchanted by the character of Briony, whose misinterpretation and willful stubbornness have disastrous repercussions for her family and their future. So many of Briony’s flaws I see reflected in myself, and even her secret motivations I found to be eerily familiar. I also enjoyed the character of Robbie, especially as he struggled through the memories of prison, and the metaphorical prison he still faced as he struggled through the war. I enjoyed the ‘twist’ at the end, the way that reality does not always turn out as we hope, but that ultimately, good and love will manage to triumph on some level.


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