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Ian McEwan
ISBN # : 9780099429791
Publisher: Vintage
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Shortlisted for the 2001 Booker Prize

On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her older sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching Cecilia is their housekeepers son Robbie Turner, a childhood friend who, along with Brionys sister, has recently graduated from Cambridge.

By the end of that day the lives of all three will have been changed forever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had never before dared to approach and will have become victims of the younger girls scheming imagination. And Briony will have committed a dreadful crime, the guilt for which will color her entire life.

In each of his novels Ian McEwan has brilliantly drawn his reader into the intimate lives and situations of his characters. But never before has he worked with so large a canvas: In Atonement he takes the reader from a manor house in England in 1935 to the retreat from Dunkirk in 1941; from the Londons World War II military hospitals to a reunion of the Tallis clan in 1999.

Atonement is Ian McEwans finest achievement. Brilliant and utterly enthralling in its depiction of childhood, love and war, England and class, the novel is at its center a profoundand profoundly movingexploration of shame and forgiveness and the difficulty of absolution.

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