On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge.
By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.
Atonement is a magnificent novel, shaped and paced with awesome confidence and eloquence
Subtle as well as powerful, adeptly encompassing comedy as well as atrocity, Atonement is a richly intricate book- A superb achievement which combines a magnificent display of the powers of the imagination with a probing exploration of them
He is this country's unrivalled literary giant...a fascinatingly strange, unique and gripping novel
The author to follow Machines Like Me with a ‘political satire in the old tradition’ this month.
From alternative realities to machine learning, Ian McEwan discusses the questions raised in Machines Like Me and how the dytopian novel is really about the present.