Fullmoonblue (USA: IN) (2007/11/23):
Absolutely gorgeous. History and war story and love-story, all woven into a family epic sort of format. The prose is very carefully detailed, but not so complex as to turn a person off. I've taught this book in a course on 20th century lit and most beginning college students seem to be able to get into the plot and engage with the characters.
It would probably make a great gift to anyone who likes romance, war stories, the history channel, writing as an art form, England...
I'm also looking forward to when the film adaptation comes out this winter. I hope it'll do justice to the book... so lovely to read!
Amanda (United Kingdom) (2007/12/17):
I read this book after watching the film (which I'm not sure was the right way to do it!). I did enjoy it as the book was more in-depth than the film, but at times I felt the author's style of writing a little heavy going. I did find the story terribly sad and I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't a true story. All in all I am glad that I read this book, but it was a book that I was happy to put down at times! 7 out of 10.
SouthernYankee (USA: TN) (2008/02/20):
I was very disappointed. I had heard the movie was great, but I thought the book was boring and had to force myself to finish it. The end was a twist, however. It was just okay, certainly not one of the best I've ever read.
RachelClarke (United Kingdom) (2008/05/30):
Good book. I'd recommend it to anyone!
annie (Greece) (2009/12/07):
This is a superb book, beautifully written, worth reading again and again.
Much better than the film!
Marianne (Australia) (2011/02/04):
For me, Ian McEwan’s book, Atonement, was mistitled. I think a better title would have been “How to profit from ruining others’ lives”. I was prepared to give this book a chance. A slow start, but good use of language, beautifully written, characters to love and hate and what seemed like a good story until the rather grim ending, which made a complete lie of the blurb on the back: “Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone”. If doing a bit of wartime nursing and then writing the story of your crime after all the people to whom it might matter have died, first changing the ending so that it will be more acceptable to the reader, then Briony’s definition of atonement is something different from the accepted one. “Atonement: amends or reparation made for an injury or wrong”. I felt cheated by the ending for the time I spent on this book. Guess I don't need to try any more by Ian McEwan!
Sue Walmsley (United Kingdom) (2011/03/05):
did not like