‘Atonement’ by Ian McEwan

Appearance can be deceiving.

It happens that you see something happening, but you’re too far away to make out the details.

Maybe you even miss the beginning of the situation, therefore ignoring what had caused the whatever event you’re witnessing.

What you do know is that it looks bad. It looks violent, aggressive. Dangerous.

From then on, everything that follows is just a mere consequence, which only reinforces what you at first witnessed. Until, eventually, you make a resolution and you tell.

There will be consequences, though not for you. Lives will be changed, though not yours. You become a catalyst of the radical change in other people’s life, almost proud of the important task you accomplished.

When, later on, you finally realize how wrong you were – how deeply you misunderstood the signs – it’s too late to amend.

Ian McEwan made a work of art out of this and he called it ‘Atonement’.

I can’t really say what was so attractive about this book, but I just wanted it from the very moment I spotted it on the shelf at the bookstore.

I had never read McEwan before, I barely heard about him. Nonetheless, I needed to have that book. It just felt right.

It’s the story of Briony Tallis, 13 years old. One of the most egotistic young girl I’ve ever read about.

She sees something from afar. It’s a moment between her sister Cecilia and Robbie, the son of the housekeeper. There’s tension between them and Briony decides it’s Robbie being aggressive towards her sister.

It’s only a moment. But from then on, every little thing seems to say the same thing to her: Robbie is not as innocent as he claims. He’s aggressive. He’s violent. He’s a rapist.

Then the time comes when Briony makes her resolution and put right what she sees so wrong.

It happens at the dinner party, the twins run away during the dinner party and Lola, the twin sister, is discovered being apparently raped by an assailant. Lola can’t – or doesn’t want to – identify the rapist, though Briony is sure of who he is: Robbie, no doubt.

If it’s true or only a delusion of a very active – and very bored – mind, we can’t know.

Well, actually we readers do know. At least we get a hint at what is really happening behind the misleading appearance.

Whatever it was that attracted me so much, it was absolutely rightful, because this one became soon one of the books I loved the most.

Do you think it exist love at first sight between humans and books?

If it does exist, this was it.

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If you want to know more about this book: Goodreads

If you want to buy this book: Amazon

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