Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Atonement by Ian McEwan


by James Sacco

Atonement takes place during World War II in England and France and is told through the point of view of 13 year old Briony Tallis. The novel follows its story by switching time periods throughout the book, which is one of the things that made it so interesting. The narrator and the main character take the reader on a journey through all of the mistakes she made and the interesting life she lived. The book was full of twists and turns. There were also multiple disturbing instances shown through the eyes of Briony.

Briony's choices following these acts cause conflict between herself, her family, and as she grows older, her conscience. These conflicts are what makes the book so page-turning and exciting. World War II provides the drama and tragedy of war. 

The concept of changing time periods throughout the novel gives the reader the illusion that you are living the entire lives of the characters, up until death. Reading through the eyes of a naive girl in the beginning of the book made it much more interesting than if it had been told from the perspective of her mother, for example. The author's choice to use Briony as a narrator allows more exaggeration, and her mistakes make a more interesting story.

I recommend this to those who are interested in reading about the life and hardships of World War II, as well as anyone who likes reading about stories that put life in perspective and make you cherish the good things in life. 

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