Book review: Atonement by Ian McEwan

With summer on the way and time to spend at the beach (park? backyard?), you might take along Atonement—if you’ve not read the book already.

Ian McEwan captures the pre-WWII life of the English gentry. His heroine, Briony, is a child before the war, and an adult during. Could someone, McEwan asks his readers, do something so awful that she can never make amends, never atone for her wickedness,… ever?

[My wife despises Briony with a passion and thinks that she could never atone for her crime!]

The middle section of novel switches gear and covers the Dunkirk evacuation of 27 May–4 June 1940. Briony becomes a nurse and the remainder of the book follows her life and includes wonderfully convincing descriptions of her treating the wounded in a London hospital. Try it.

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