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Book Review
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Atonement: Discovering Maturity and Responsibility (Book Review Sample)


The paper was a reader response or review of the Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel; Atonement. The novel is about a main character’s desperate attempt to reconcile her inner self and atone for a crime she committed while still a young girl. When the main character (Brioni Tally) was a young girl, she witnessed Robbie, a neighbor, watch Cecilia (her sister) undress. She later witnesses an encounter between Cecilia and Robbie, which she perceives as a sexual assault against Cecilia. Later, when Cecilia is sexually assaulted, Brioni wrongfully accuses Robbie and makes everyone believe that Robby committed the crime. Robbie is sent to jail for rape. When she grows into a young mature woman, Brioni reconstructs the events in her childhood and realizes that she made the mistake of accusing Robbie. She is ready to atone for her sins. The review describes the feelings of love, sadness, anger, shame, and guilt that Brioni grapples with.


Reader Response: Atonement by Ian McEwan
The underlying theme of “Atonement” by Ian McEwan is guilt and atonement. Briony Tallis spends her whole life reconciling her inner self and atone for a crime she committed while still a young girl. On one long hot summer afternoon in 1935, Briony, then thirteen years old, happens to be watching from a window while Robbie Turner, Cecilia’s childhood friend and the son of a servant, is watching Cecilia undress and jump into a fountain in her underwear. Later that evening, Briony sees an encounter between Robbie and Cecilia, which she perceives as an attack to Cecilia by Robbie. This is also an awkward sexual display when Robbie accidentally sends a letter he meant to destroy to Cecilia in which he passionately expresses his sexual desires for Cecilia. Briony, the messenger, opens and reads the letter.
Soon, another crisis follows. Lola, Cecilia’s young sister is sexually assaulted in the ground floor of the house. Briony witnesses the incident, but it is too dark for her to clearly see who the culprit is. Fifteen year old Lola does not know the person who sexually assaults her either. While the person who commits the crime is Paul Marshall, Briony accuses Robbie and manages to convince everyone (except Cecilia) that Robbie is the person who performs the heinous crime. Based on Briony’s sole 

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