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Set in three time periods, 1935 England, Second World War England and France, and present-day England, it covers an upper-class girl’s half-innocent mistake that...

Set in three time periods, 1935 England, Second World War England and France, and present-day England, it covers an upper-class girl’s half-innocent mistake that ruins lives, her adulthood in the shadow of that mistake, and a reflection on the nature of writing. In 2010, TIME magazine named Atonement in its list of the 100 greatest English-language novels since 1923. Briony Tallis, a 13-year-old English girl with a talent for ian mcewan atonement book pdf, lives at her family’s country estate with her parents. Her older sister Cecilia attends the University of Cambridge with Robbie Turner, the Tallis family housekeeper’s son and Cecilia’s childhood friend.


In the summer of 1935, Briony’s maternal cousins, Lola and her twin brothers Jackson and Pierrot, visit the family. Briony witnesses a moment of sexual tension between Cecilia and Robbie from afar. Briony misconstrues the situation and concludes that Robbie is acting aggressively toward Cecilia. Robbie, meanwhile, realises he is attracted to Cecilia, whom he has not seen in some time, and writes several drafts of a love letter to her, giving a copy to Briony to deliver.

Briony reads the letter and becomes disturbed as to Robbie’s intentions. Later she walks in on Robbie and Cecilia making love in the library.

Briony misinterprets the sexual act as rape and believes Robbie is a “maniac. Later, at a family dinner party attended by Briony’s brother Leon and his friend Paul Marshall, it is discovered that the twins have run away. The dinner party breaks into teams to search for them. In the darkness, Briony discovers her cousin Lola being raped by an assailant she cannot clearly see.

Lola is unable or unwilling to identify the attacker — strongly hinted to be Marshall — but Briony decides to accuse Robbie and identifies him to the police as the rapist, claiming she has seen Robbie’s face in the dark. Robbie is taken away to prison, with only Cecilia and his mother believing his protestations of innocence. By the time Second World War has started, Robbie has spent several years in prison.

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