I loved this book! I may be a little biased because I saw the movie first and loved the movie but I don’t think that is the case. The story starts off in England, 1935 and revolves around Briony Tallis, her older sister Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the cleaning lady’s son. When Briony is thirteen years old, she witnesses two interactions between Cecilia and Robbie, reads a letter from Robbie meant for Cecilia and without having all the information, she jumps to the conclusion that Robbie is a sex maniac. When her cousin Lola is raped, Briony accuses Robbie of the crime, certain it must have been him, although she didn’t actually see the perpetrator. The story then moves to Robbie’s point of view and his time spent in the second world war (he joined the military in exchange for an early release from prison) before switching back to Briony’s point of view. At eighteen, Briony finally realizes she may have made a mistake in accusing Robbie and tries to make things right.
This was the first book I read by McEwan, but definitely will not be the last. The novel was beautifully written. His descriptions were just enough to allow me to have a vivid picture in my head but not so much that I tuned it out. When there is an overload of description, I tend to tune out the writing and have no clue of what I just read and no clear picture of the story. That did not happen here. Also, I found his descriptions easy to understand and not so caught up in showing off that I have no idea what the author is trying to get across. Highly recommend! I look forward to reading his next book.