Truly harrowing, honestly quite hurtful love stories are hard to come by, especially in such a crowded market of seemingly endless Nicholas Sparks’ adapted screenplays that, once with an actual moral value, have since now disintegrated into an ever-flowing river of stodge. The shine really has come off Sparks-but in the case of Atonement, the story never shines, but simply glows with glamour instead.
Ian McEwan’s desperate tale first takes place on the hottest day of summer in 1935, gardener of the estate Robbie Turner and Cecilia Tallis, forthright and daring daughter of the owner of said estate, confess their feelings to each other. Cecilia’s little sister, Briony (who is definitely not your everyday cup of tea; neither would you want to drink it even if you added a heap of sweeteners), watches the plot unfold between them and decides to concoct a ridiculous story which will become, without her true understanding or knowing, a spellbinding tale of tragedy and heartbreak.
The second part of the novel gives way from its sunny blue hazes and crystalline portraits of serenity into a darker, troubled world become into ruin during the events of the foreshadowed war from the first part. We see through the eyes of Robbie; now a soldier in the British rout at Dunkirk; exhausted, fatigued, wounded and generally at a loss with this world which had taken so much and given so little back. Then to Briony; now a combat nurse who has finally realised what dreadful mistake she made on that day, when a child decided to act like an adult yet had never been one herself, so could she ever know? Fraught with guilt and regret at irreversible mistakes she had made as a child, she seeks to find a better path, a better end-and succeeds in a sweet, if sad novel ending.
McEwan brings light to everything he touches: the reflections on the lakes, the whistling of the summer breeze through the leaves. The whining of distant shells. With his words the worlds he spells out simply come to life as easily as the story flows, a large cascading river carrying you along in its inconceivable yet inevitable current. It probably helped the movie, which starred James McAvoy and Keira Knightley. A truly spellbinding novel that will leave you with tears and holding this book forever dear in your hearts.
News and Announcements:
- Once again, sorry for the gap in publishes. Will get out Interstellar and possibly Barcelona tourism guides as soon as possible.
- In other, happier news, I recently acquired three Russian dwarf hamsters (Aly, Storm and Rogue). They are absolutely divine; if I can get a group shot of them before the next post, I’ll show them to you guys. The stuff you need to look after them is quite a substantial amount
- My birthday was two weeks ago! I am now (sadly) a large 14. Ayeesh. Belated birthday greeting are very welcome.