Rated of 5
by Margie W
Atonement is a fantastic love story about childhood friends. It will make you sigh, laugh and maybe even cry. Atonement brings to life the importance of perspective.
One could claim that McEwan was inspired to use World War II as the backdrop to his story because of his own parents love story. At the onset of WWII McEwan’s mother was having an affair with McEwan’s father, but was married to another man. His mother’s husband was killed in combat and she was able to marry her McEwan’s father; Ian McEwan was born several years later.
No one who did not live through a former era can really know what life would have been like, but through the eyes of Cecilia, Robbie, and Briony one gets a very good idea. Atonement is the story of three young people that begins at the family’s country estate in 1935 England. Temperatures and emotions are running high. Through McEwan’s detailed descriptions one can feel the tension in the household. The mood of the house is obvious, you can feel the oppressive heat that causes everything to seem as if in slow motion. At any moment the pretenses could break and all of the pent up emotions could break loose.
[This review has been edited to remove plot spoilers]