Atonement Book Review and E-book Giveaway

July 16, 2010

in Books

Review from the 100 Greatest Novels List Atonement by Ian McEwan, 400 pages

 

Atonement received the WH Smith Literary Award (2002), National Book Critics' Circle Fiction Award (2003), Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction (2003), and the Santiago Prize for the European Novel (2004). Atonement is one of those books that takes you by surprise because of the ease of the revelations and the empathy that the reader feels for the characters in the novel.

The three main things I look at in novels are plot, characterization, and writing style.  If you have seen the movie based on this novel, you missed 99.9% of the plot and all of the characterization.

To be honest, I had no plans to read this novel. My cousin, Julie, lent it to me and said I would enjoy it. I am a literary snob so am leery of current popular fiction. I am so glad that I took Julie's advice and read the book. Thanks Julie!

Plot – The plot of the story centers around three main characters. Briony, Cecilia, and Robbie. The novel starts out innocently enough. Cecilia and Robbie are in love, but they are in different social castes. Briony, Cecilia's little sister, catches the love birds in an act of intimacy and her jealousy begins to bubble. Jealousy seems to a nonhuman character in many a great story. Anyway, Briony tells a lie. A big lie. A lie that alters the course of the lives of all three characters in the book. I'm not telling any more. Read it!

Characterization – Throughout the story, which begins in 1935 and takes us through the war, you fall in love with the characters. You want to protect Briony. You hurt with Cecilia. You go to war with Robbie and walk through every fearful footstep. The plot of this novel is amazing and surprising. However, the plot would be a fail if the characters didn't become real.

Writing Style – The story jumps around and lets us see from the point of view of all the main characters. Each voice is distinctly different. Briony is whiny, insolent, and manipulative. Cecelia is sinewy, feminine, and strong. Robbie is contained, honest, and rough. The conversational and back story scenes are just as involving as the action scenes. The writing flows smoothly so you almost don't even notice that there is a writer behind the pages.

GIVEAWAY – Winner will be announced on July 30th. Win a copy of Atonement for your Kindle or e-reader. To enter, leave a comment telling me why you are excited to read this book. For extra entries: 1. Become a fan of Dishwater Dreams on Facebook (1 entry) 2. Follow Dishwater Dreams on Twitter (1 entry) 3. Subscribe to the Dishwater Dreams RSS feed (5 entries) 4. Stumble this post (1 entry) 5. Tweet about this giveaway (1 entry per day) 6. Blog about the giveaway and link back (5 entries) 7. Blog about the 100 Greatest Books reading challenge and link back (5 entries) 8. Leave a worthwhile comment on another post on this blog (1 entry per comment) Make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry you earn and use a valid e-mail address. Prize can not be awarded if I can't contact you!

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{ 19 comments }

paige July 16, 2010 at 8:32 am

I always enjoy when someone recommends a book to me that is one I would not usually pick up on my own. It is a great way for me to broaden my horizons. Thanks for the review on this one!

Elizabeth July 17, 2010 at 9:41 am

This sounds like a good book to read. I too I am quite picky when it comes to what I read. This is why I go to the library! If you don’t like the book after you start reading it, just take it back and try another one! Cost zer dollars!

Cheryl @ Mommypants July 17, 2010 at 9:25 pm

I’m also a bit of a snob (which is why I’m completely flummoxed as to why the Twilight series is so popular). Sounds like an interesting read!

Alexandra July 18, 2010 at 12:44 am

Oh, this is a fantastic read! Anyone would love it: rich in dialogue, fully fleshed out characters, satifsying story. It’s great.

ericka @ alabaster cow July 18, 2010 at 8:44 pm

i am definitely interested now!

Allison July 20, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I’d love to read this book because it sounds really good!

Allison July 20, 2010 at 3:49 pm

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Brian July 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Ian McEwan is probably my favorite living writer, and even though I’ve read Atonement before, I look forward to re-reading this great book.

Ashlee July 24, 2010 at 1:02 am

I am excited to read this book!

Ashlee July 24, 2010 at 1:03 am

I’m following you on Twitter @LoveCommaAshlee

Linda July 29, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Love my kindle and I have wanted to read Atonement for a long time!

Linda July 29, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Became a fan on Facebook!

Linda July 29, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Following you on twitter!

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