Atonement by Ian McEwan

By Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan s symphonic novel of affection and struggle, formative years and sophistication, guilt and forgiveness offers all of the pride of an excellent narrative and the provocation we have now come to count on from this grasp of English prose.

On a sizzling summer season day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a second s flirtation among her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia s youth buddy. yet Briony s incomplete seize of grownup causes along with her precocious literary presents brings a few crime that would swap all their lives. because it follows that crime s repercussions throughout the chaos and carnage of global conflict II and into the shut of the 20th century, Atonement engages the reader on each available point, with an ease and authority that mark it as a real masterpiece.

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She advanced into the room, and thrust the flowers into the vase. It had once belonged to her Uncle Clem, whose funeral, or reburial, at the end of the war she remembered quite well: the gun carriage arriving at the country churchyard, the coffin draped in the regimental flag, the raised swords, the bugle at the graveside, and, most memorably for a five-year-old, her father weeping. Clem was his only sibling. The story of how he had come by the vase was told in one of the last letters the young lieutenant wrote home.

When he spoke he was perfectly pleasant. “I know you never liked that sort of thing, Cee. ” “That’s my point. Another six years. ” He wasn’t offended. She was the one who was overinterpreting, and jittery in his presence, and she was annoyed with herself. He was taking her question seriously. “No one’s really going to give me work as a landscape gardener. I don’t want to teach, or go in for the civil service. And medicine interests me . ” He broke off as a thought occurred to him. “Look, I’ve agreed to pay your father back.

You just did it. You start low and end high. ” He swallowed hard, drew a breath and made another attempt, producing this time a roll call on a rising chromatic scale. “At the end. ” Now came a roll call on the old monotone, with a break of register, a yodel, on the final syllable. Lola had come to the nursery that morning in the guise of the adult she considered herself at heart to be. She wore pleated flannel trousers that ballooned at the hips and flared at the ankle, and a short-sleeved sweater made of cashmere.

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