25 March 2009

Book Review: Atonement

Okay. So, I had heard before that Atonement (as a novel) hasn't really hit high marks. I knew a couple of people who had read it and just weren't impressed. Too sad, too long, too difficult...

Well, I'm glad I went against their opinions and read it (I mean that in the nicest way possible!), because I thought it was AMAZING! Yes, it was sad (extremely sad), and yes, it was pretty long and hard to get through during certain parts, but it was fantastic. I really, really liked it - I asked for it for my birthday. I want to make it all up.

So, if you've seen the movie, it's VERY parallel to the novel (which I liked). The book opens on a summer afternoon in which Briony Tallis is writing a play for her younger cousins, who are on their way to the house. Leon, Briony's older sister, is also on his way home with a young, successful chocolate-bar maker. And then there's Cecilia, the sibling in between Briony and Leon. She has been nursing an impossible love for Robbie, one of the groundskeepers on their estate. The story progresses - the twin cousins (nine years old) run away one night and everyone goes out looking for them. Lola, their older sister, is raped by a man. Briony swears it was Robbie, after seeing him and her older sister in the library, as she was being "attacked" by him (we later find out that isn't the case at all).

Robbie gets sent to jail. Then he joins the Army, during World War II. Cecilia enlists as a nurse in France. The rest of the story, well...you should just read it for yourself.

I really enjoyed this story most of all for the descriptive accounts. Oh my gosh, I felt like I was RIGHT THERE in certain scenes. I want it to be July in the summer in England, while I'm on a major estate, wandering through the gardens. I swear I could smell flowers.

I would recommend this book (why would I review a book I don't like?). It's a fascinating story. Ian McEwan, the author, received quite a few awards for it. AND, if you liked the movie, and you like reading books, I think you'll enjoy this.

And also, just because posts aren't really complete on blogs without pictures:

Yes. Go read the book. Then see the movie. They're gooooood.


laura bee said...
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laura bee said...

ah! I love this book/movie combo. The book broke my heart last year when I read it.

Anonymous said...

yeah, i loved it too. though, i could wish for a happy ending. it really broke my heart in the end.