1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A class act.,
This review is from: Atonement (Paperback)
This is an exceptional piece of writing. The characters are beautifully drawn and the observations particularly those of children are so sharp that you get drawn into this yarn from the very first page. McEwan has an enviable gift, too for setting time and place. The reader gets a real sense for the era and this particular social backdrop - that of the English upper class.
This aside, the cleverness of the novel lies in its structure which so effectively demonstrates that its protagonist, Briony does indeed possess the imagintive, naive and clearly unreliable mind of a young writer -even, in fact, in old age.
The sharp contrast between the past grandeur, the war years and the present day are also very well depicted through masterly use of language.
Though the reader's sympathies are never entirely with the Briony character, we are compelled nonetheless to read on. Without wanting to give away any of the storyline, I think that this is achieved in large part by McEwan's fantasic ability to build tension between the characters.
Overall, a first-rate novel from a first rate author.
Alex Pearl, author of 'Sleeping with the Blackbirds'