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The Resource Atonement, Ian McEwan, (text large print)

Atonement, Ian McEwan, (text large print)

Label
Atonement
Title
Atonement
Statement of responsibility
Ian McEwan
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In the summer of 1935, 13-year-old Briony Tallis wildly misinterprets the relationship between her sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner, childhood friends home from Cambridge. So when her young cousin is assaulted, Briony gives in to her hyperactive imagination and blames the atrocity on Robbie. It is a terrible decision that alters lives and fills Briony with an everlasting sense of guilt
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • Commonwealth Writers' Prize, South Asia and Europe: Best Book, 2002.
  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, 2002.
  • National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, 2002.
  • ALA Notable Book, 2003.
Review
  • McEwan, a master of psychologically acute and elegantly gothic tales, won the Booker Prize for Amsterdam (1998) and now weighs in with an even more polished and entrancing novel. It’s 1935, and England is experiencing a heat wave, while chaos rules at the Tallis country estate. Mr. Tallis is always at the office; his lovely wife, suffering from migraines, is usually in her darkened bedroom. Their youngest, 13-year-old Briony, a budding writer, keeps busy composing silly romances while waiting for her visiting older siblings and displaced cousins. Brother Leon, a bank clerk, arrives with an unattractive but wealthy friend. Sister Cecilia is home after finishing up at Cambridge, as is the sharp and ambitious Robbie Turner, their cleaning lady’s son. The cousins, freckly twin boys and the newly nubile and wholly untrustworthy Lola, are unhappy victims of an impending divorce. All are hoping for a soothing holiday, but things quickly turn bizarrely catastrophic thanks to the highly imaginative but utterly naive and histrionic Briony, who sees something sinister occur between Cecilia and Robbie and wildly overreacts. McEwan’s instantly addictive story line is of the bad-to-worse variety as he moves on to the harrowing vicissitudes of World War II. Every lustrously rendered, commanding scene is charged with both despair and diabolical wit, and McEwan’s Jamesian prose covers the emotional spectrum from searing eroticism to toxic guilt. In sum, he excels brilliantly at depicting moral dilemmas and stressed minds in action without losing a keen sense of the body’s terrible fragility, the touching absurdity of desire, and time’s obstinacy. (Reviewed November 15, 2001) -- Donna Seaman
  • Adult/High School –Set during the seemingly idyllic summer of 1935 at the country estate of the Tallis family, the first section of this thought-provoking novel ambles through one scorchingly hot day that changes the lives of almost everyone present. The catalyst is overly imaginative 13-year-old Briony, who accuses Robbie, her sister's childhood friend and their housemaid's son, of raping her cousin Lola. The young man is sent to prison and Cecilia, heartbroken, abandons her family and becomes a nursing sister in London. In the second part, McEwan vividly describes another single day, this time Robbie's experiences during the ignominious British retreat to Dunkirk early in World War II. Finally, readers meet Briony again, now a nursing student. She is aware that she might have been wrong that day five years earlier and begins to seek atonement, having clearly ruined two lives. In a story within a story, McEwan brilliantly engages readers in a tour de force of what ifs and might have beens until they begin to wonder what actually happened. The story is compelling, the characters well drawn and engaging, and the outcome is almost always in doubt. The descriptions of the retreat and the subsequent hospitalization of the soldiers are grim and realistic. Readers are spared little, yet the journey is worth the observed pain and distress. Well-read teens will find much to think about in this novel.–Susan H. Woodcock, Chantilly Regional Library, VA --Susan H. Woodcock (Reviewed June 1, 2002) (School Library Journal, vol 48, issue 6, p172)
  • /* Starred Review */ This haunting novel, which just failed to win the Booker this year, is at once McEwan at his most closely observed and psychologically penetrating, and his most sweeping and expansive. It is in effect two, or even three, books in one, all masterfully crafted. The first part ushers us into a domestic crisis that becomes a crime story centered around an event that changes the lives of half a dozen people in an upper-middle-class country home on a hot English summer's day in 1935. Young Briony Tallis, a hyperimaginative 13-year-old who sees her older sister, Cecilia, mysteriously involved with their neighbor Robbie Turner, a fellow Cambridge student subsidized by the Tallis family, points a finger at Robbie when her young cousin is assaulted in the grounds that night; on her testimony alone, Robbie is jailed. The second part of the book moves forward five years to focus on Robbie, now freed and part of the British Army that was cornered and eventually evacuated by a fleet of small boats at Dunkirk during the early days of WWII. This is an astonishingly imagined fresco that bares the full anguish of what Britain in later years came to see as a kind of victory. In the third part, Briony becomes a nurse amid wonderfully observed scenes of London as the nation mobilizes. No, she doesn't have Robbie as a patient, but she begins to come to terms with what she has done and offers to make amends to him and Cecilia, now together as lovers. In an ironic epilogue that is yet another coup de théâtre, McEwan offers Briony as an elderly novelist today, revisiting her past in fact and fancy and contributing a moving windup to the sustained flight of a deeply novelistic imagination. With each book McEwan ranges wider, and his powers have never been more fully in evidence than here. Author tour. (Mar. 19) Forecast: McEwan's work has been building a strong literary readership, and the brilliantly evoked prewar and wartime scenes here should extend that; expect strong results from handselling to the faithful. The cover photo of a stately English home nicely establishes the novel's atmosphere --Staff (Reviewed November 19, 2001) (Publishers Weekly, vol 248, issue 47, p45)
  • The major events of Booker Prize winner McEwan's new novel occur one day in the summer of 1935. Briony Tallis, a precocious 13-year-old with an overactive imagination, witnesses an incident between Cecilia, her older sister, and Robbie Turner, son of the Tallis family's charwoman. Already startled by the sexual overtones of what she has seen, she is completely shocked that evening when she surreptitiously reads a suggestive note Robbie has mistakenly sent Cecilia. It then becomes easy for her to believe that the shadowy figure who assaults her cousin Lola late that night is Robbie. Briony's testimony sends Robbie to prison and, through an early release, into the army on the eve of World War II. Gradually understanding what she has done, Briony seeks atonement first through a career in nursing and then through writing, with the novel itself framed as a literary confession it has taken her a lifetime to write. Moving deftly between styles, this is a compelling exploration of guilt and the struggle for forgiveness. Recommended for most public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/01.]—Lawrence Rungren, Merrimack Valley Lib. Consortium, Andover, MA --Lawrence Rungren (Reviewed November 15, 2001) (Library Journal, vol 126, issue 19, p97)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
068564
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
McEwan, Ian
Dewey number
823/.914
Index
no index present
LC call number
PR6063.C4
LC item number
A88 2002
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Teenage girls
  • Country life
  • Ex-convicts
  • England
  • Sisters
  • Guilt
Target audience
adult
Label
Atonement, Ian McEwan, (text large print)
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
23 cm
Extent
613 pages
Form of item
large print
Isbn
9780786239214
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
2001057041
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Specific material designation
large print
System control number
  • 48494650
  • 396511
Label
Atonement, Ian McEwan, (text large print)
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
23 cm
Extent
613 pages
Form of item
large print
Isbn
9780786239214
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
2001057041
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Specific material designation
large print
System control number
  • 48494650
  • 396511

Library Locations

    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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