Atonement is definitely the saddest book i’ve ever read. Divided into four parts and set in the period of the the second World War, the story hinges on the actions of 13 year old Briony Tallis, an aspiring writer and selfish young girl. Briony drastically changes the lives of several people when she accuses her sister’s lover of rape and consequently lives seeking atonement, particularly from her sister, leading to an exploration on the nature of writing and the effect of one person’s actions. Ian McEwan is an absolutely breathtaking writer and the book left me with a deep sense of sadness and regret. I think what is most accurately captured here is the mind of a 13 year old girl. There are very few books which so accurately capture the complex, selfish simplicity of a 13 year old mind whose understanding of consequence is very much non-existent. Instead of painting the Briony as simple, or heroic or anything else McEwan paints her as a little mean, self-obsessed and precocious- which is wonderful because it is so easy to identify with. Without a doubt the most heart-wrenching and touching book that I’ve ever read.
30 day book challenge- Day 6- A book that makes you sad