Carole Carp, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by Carole Carp)
In the mid-1930s, a 13 year old girl tells a lie that will change the lives of her older sister, Cecilia, and Cecilia's lover. Writing both intensely and lyrically, author Ian McEwan allows us to follow the subsequent lives of the three, up to and through World War II. In the staggering ending, we come to understand the power of atonement, and, as well, the power of a writer to redeem the wrongs of the past.
Gregory Messer, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by Gregory Messer)
A beautiful and haunting exploration of the consequences behind our actions, regret, and the ways we make amends. The story of a girl who makes a false accusation and the ramifications, Atonement is a book that stays with you long after you're finished. The writing is amazing, in its descriptions of the horrors of WWI and also in one of the sexiest scenes ever written in a book.
betheljohn, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by betheljohn)
This was the perfect story. McEwan managed to distill many tons of exquisite emotion, humanity, love and tragedy into each incisively crafted paragraph. The story of one mistake made early in life that has consequences that can never (ever, ever) be reversed makes a refreshing change from the pappy masses of "It was meant to be/it all works out in the end" stories.Not a feel-good heartwarming story of obstacles overcome, but a good slap in the face, a good ripping apart of the heart that makes one feel the preciousness of life. I was profoundly moved in every moment, and wanted to reread every beautiful sentence aloud.
Book Fan, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Book Fan)
Atonement, by Ian McEwan, is a rich, evocative story of a young girl whose misperceptions of the adult world affect those around her in tragic ways. His characters are nuanced and fully drawn, and his ability to portray their thoughts is masterful.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"McEwan at his most closely observed and psychologically penetrating, and his most sweeping and expansive....With each book McEwan ranges wider, and his powers have never been more fully in evidence than here." Publishers Weekly
by Library Journal,
"Moving deftly between styles, this is a compelling exploration of guilt and the struggle for forgiveness."
by John Updike, The New Yorker,
"A beautiful and majestic fictional panorama."
by The Plain Dealer,
"Not since the 19th century has a writer stepped in and out of his characters' minds with such unfettered confidence."
by The Washington Post Book World,
"No one now writing fiction in the English language surpasses Ian McEwan."
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