The main character is a girl of around 13 years of age, with the name of Briony. she is a writer with a creative imagination, which eventually gets her sisters lover locked in jail and he therefore has to become part of the infantry, and fight in World War II. Briony's statement - she believed Robbie was raping her sister, and therefore tries to protect her - is what put Robbie in jail, and contributed to his death at Dunkirk. Briony spends the rest of her life trying to atone for this mistake.
One of the worst books I have ever read: it is non sensical and lacks true substance. The books flashbacks make it unclear as to what is happening and most of the book is spent backpeddling to catch up with what happened. Definitely a book that is easy to put down.
This report prepared by Nicholas Marini
In the summer of 1935 Briony Tallis, a 13-year-old from a well-to-do English family, is a budding writer. She hopes to have her cousins Lola and the twins Jackson and Pierrot enact a play of her devising during a family get-together, but the cast is hopeless. During the day, however, she spies a servant's son, Robbie Turner, apparently making her older sister Cecilia strip, and comes upon an obscene love letter he has written her. Briony's fertile imagination conjures all sorts of awful things, and when her cousin Lola is raped, our heroine is pretty sure she saw Robbie do it. He is sent to prison, much over Cecilia's protests, gets out early to fight in France where he is caught up in the confusion of the retreat at Dunkirk, and over the years matters sort out more or less between the estranged family members. McEwan's previous book, _Amsterdam_, won Britain's Booker prize, and he almost snagged it again for this majestic and measured work of creeping menace about the pleasures, pains, and dangers of writing, the difficulty of controlling what other people make of your writing, and the vagaries of memory and history.
This report prepared by David Loftus