Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Atonement by Ian McEwan~★★★

Author: Atonement
Title: Ian McEwan
Release Date: First published in 2001; this edition published in 2007
Publisher: Seal Books
Genre: Fiction

Book Jacket: "On a summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment's flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant. But Briony's incomplete grasp of adult motives and her precocious imagination bring about a crime that will change all their lives., a crime whose repercussions Atonement follows through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century."

Taryn's Review: One book review in April?! Oops! I'm already doing better in May by kicking off with a book! More is to come thanks to a trip to the library.

Now to Atonement. I wanted to love this book; I tried to love this book. Ultimately, I struggled to get through this book. I was really surprised at my distaste for the author because a friend highly recommended this book. Normally we have similar tastes in books, but I could not get into McEwan's style of writing. He was very descriptive, but to me, it wasn't pleasant in the same way Hemingway's descriptions were. Normally I can read a few chapters of a book nightly, but after each chapter of Atonement, I wanted to quit.

The story that McEwan told was thought-provoking. In an off-beat way, it reminded me of the Salem Witch Trials of 1492. At the center of each drama, a young teen's testimony determined the fate of an adult's livelihood. The teens believed what they were saying, swore under oath what they said was true, and their words ruined the lives of others.

Justice played a strong theme in the book and it was interesting to read Briony's take on what happened at the end of the tale. After reading the work, I thought about justice again, contemplated what exactly justice is, and if it is really ever "served."

I probably will avoid McEwan's books in the future because I really disliked his writing style. He was overly descriptive which caused my attention to wane repeatedly. Skipping pages was all I could think about at points because I so desperately wanted some movement in the book. I think the actual tale is rather good, but not good enough to persuade me to try another book of the author's writing.

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