Atonement written by Ian McEwan is a piece of historical fiction that follows the lives of the Tallis family in the early to mid 20th century. The reader follows the sisters Briony and Cecilia Tallis and the groundskeeper's son Robbie Turner on a hot summer’s day in the family’s household as they prepare for the eldest Tallis son to return from college. Briony is an imaginative and naive 13 year old girl trying to convince her visiting cousins to perform her written play. Cecilia is fighting with her lost motivations after coming back from college and Robbie deals with his love for Cecilia. During an altercation of misunderstanding, Robbie and Cecilia grow closer and Briony is propelled down a path that will lead to a terrible mistake. A mistake she will have to figure out how to deal with for the rest of her life.
Atonement was exceptional, written poetically as it follows the lives of these characters and how Briony bears her mistakes in her adulthood. It expertly deals with the themes of forgiveness and guilt as well as how important perspective and perception of a moment is. Beautifully told in a gut-wrenching way, this story could not have been written any other way. McEwan is brilliant and it clearly shows in the work of art that is Atonement. Personally as a reviewer these are my favorite kind of books, the books that have you changing the way you think about the people in and your life. I would recommend Atonement to any one who loves a good cry and a great change of perspective.