McEwan, Ian

  12 Reviews

Briony Tallis, a precocious thirteen-year-old, witnesses a quarrel between her older sister and Robbie, the son of her family's cleaning woman. She then believes the shadowy figure who assaults her cousin, Lola late that night, is Robbie. Her assumption brings disaster, not simply to the two young people discovering themselves to be lovers, but to everyone else in the well-intentioned, prosperous family.

Comments from Groups

A fantastic read. Everyone enjoyed this book. Wonderful writing, clever format. The theme of atonement one could discuss for hours. Otaki 001.

Not all enjoyed this book, although it provoked much discussion. Wordy, but scene and mood setting was appreciated. Auckland 058.

We all enjoyed Atonement, beautifully constructed and written. The contrast between the unreality of pre-war England's comfortable upper class world with the harsh reality of the two following sectors, war and nursing the casualties of war, is portrayed with startling clarity and precision. A thought-provoking, excellent compelling read. Whitby 002.



METH 001
All enjoyed this read but found the beginning a bit long. However the notes were excellent and explained this well - great read.
TAUR 053
A mixed reaction from our group. 'Atonement' was much enjoyed by approximately half of our group. Others didn't get into the book but did go out and buy the DVD. We all agreed that it would have been preferable to have read the book notes first.
We all enjoyed this book. Great discussion followed which is unusual when we are all of the same opinion - the class system, the war, nursing... all were beautifully written. Descriptions were so graphic. Only the ending was disagreed on, several of us had to reread the final chapter to decide what was meant by it. Really recommend it.
CHCH 040
We were somewhat ambivalent about the two possible endings. We would have liked the happy one, but realised the sad one was the more likely. And none of us would have forgiven Briony. At least half our group were the same age as Briony was at the beginning of the second World War, and could remember the time and our feelings.
TAUP 006
A compelling story with believable characters for the most part. A good read.
We loved it, thanks!
PICT 002
The book created huge discussion. Mixed reactions. Some enjoyed the writing style, others not. We did all agree that Briony did not atone for her sins. Some parts (Dunkirk) were extremely graphic.
A popular read. Some had read it a long time ago but enjoyed rereading it. Produced a lengthy discussion.
CHCH 282
REALLY good discussion - very loud and lively . About evenly divided between vehemently "for" and vehemently "against" !
MAST 014
We all enjoyed the book, although frustrated that the word of a 13 year old could be relied on, without adults probing further. But then there wouldn't be a story! The story seemed to not have a conclusive ending.
NELS 023
We all enjoyed this book. We gathered last evening at our local Gecko Theatre in Motueka and watched the DVD of the movie. Everyone thought it was an accurate portrayal of the book - but of course, lacked a little of the depth and detail. A very successful night!
Readers loved this novel. Beautiful layered descriptions which brought the book to life.