Melody
ISBN-13: 9780307387158
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group, 368pp
Pub. Date: November 2007
First Pub.: March 2002

Quoted from Ian EcEwan's website:
Atonement received the WH Smith Literary Award (2002), National Book Critics' Circle Fiction Award (2003), Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction (2003), and the Santiago Prize for the European Novel (2004).

Frankly speaking, I didn't know about these awards until I learnt it from the author, Ian McEwan's website. And not only that, Mr. McEwan also has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction three times, winning the award for Amsterdam in 1998.

The story begins on a summer in 1935. Like other girls her age, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis has her dreams, and writing is one of them. She has an overly active imagination, and ironically the cause of this will change her life thereafter.

Cecilia is Briony's older sister. Robbie Turner is their childhood friend, or to be precise he is the son of a cleaning lady who works in the Tallis' family. Cecilia and Robbie attends the same university, and it is Cecilia's father who helps to fund Robbie's education. Cecilia and Robbie have feelings for each other, although they chose to be discreet. However one day, they broke a valuable porcelain vase during a quarrel and out of fury, Cecilia strips off her clothes and leaps into the fountain to retrieve the shattered pieces. Briony is startled when she witnessed this incident from afar, thinking that Robbie has asked her sister to do something shameful.

However, one thing leads to another, and when the sisters' cousin Lola cries rape late one night (although she couldn't identity the rapist), Briony quickly points to Robbie when Lola claimed the rapist was about his height. Robbie is then sent to jail.

In the second part of the story, Robbie is out of jail and into the army during World War II. By this time, Briony has grown up and is a nursing student. Through the years, she had came to know she had done an unforgivable deed so she seeks atonement through nursing and later through her writing.

I enjoyed reading Atonement because the story is so beautifully written, not to mention the plot is compelling and the characters engaging. And I like how the story wraps up towards the end, where we will read about the aging Briony and her thoughts. And finally, the best thing I learn from this story is how an innocent judgement might ruin one person's life. I am looking forward to the movie version which is scheduled to release in January.

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9 Responses
  1. Julia Says:

    This is interesting....I might consider reading this book. But more likely I be interested to see the movie too :)

    Great review...


  2. Melody Says:

    Thanks, Julia! Knowing you, I'm sure you will go for the movies first before you gets to the book! LOL. Go, read the book!! ;P


  3. I am so glad you liked this one, Melody! It truly is beautifully written, I agree. I am anxious to see the movie also!


  4. Melody Says:

    Yes, Wendy! I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed it. I'm hoping that the movie will be as good as the book though.


  5. Alice Teh Says:

    Melody oh Melody, you've just made me itch to buy another book. You bad girl!!

    Great review, btw. :D


  6. Rhinoa Says:

    I enjoyed the movie (it's been out in the UK for a while now) and am tempted to read the book as there were a couple of bits the film seemed to gloss over.


  7. Stephanie Says:

    Nice review!! This is one of those books I have on my TBR pile. I really need to get to it!


  8. Melody Says:

    Alice, I'm glad to hear you will be buying the book. I can't wait to hear your thoughts. :)

    Hi Rhinoa! I can't believe that this movie is already out in the UK! I'm so jealous that you have watched it! LOL. And of course we all know that most of the times, the books are always better than the movies anyway, hehe. But still, I can't wait to watch this movies...ahh...

    Hey Stephanie, thanks! Go read it, it's great! ;)


  9. Stephanie Says:

    Great review. I read Atonement in December and found it to be a compeling read - probably the best book I read in 2007.
    Stephanie
    www.thewrittenword.wordpress.com