• by Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by Josephine Bailey
  • 6 hrs and 9 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, 13-year-old Briony Tallis sees her older sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching Cecilia is their housekeeper's son Robbie Turner, a childhood friend who, along with Briony's sister, has recently graduated from Cambridge. By the end of the day the lives of all three will have been changed forever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not dared to approach and will have become victims of the younger girl's scheming imagination. And Briony will have committed a dreadful crime, the guilt for which will color her entire life.
Atonement is at its center a profound, and profoundly moving, exploration of shame and forgiveness, and the difficulty in absolution.


What the Critics Say

"McEwan at his most closely observed and psychologically penetrating, his most sweeping and expansive...masterfully crafted." (Publishers Weekly)
"It is rare for a critic to feel justified in using the word 'masterpiece', but Ian McEwan's new book really deserves to be called is a work of astonishing depth and humanity." (The Economist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hard to suspend belief

I still don't understand why Briony did what she did. It makes the whole thing hard to believe that her actions where just from a petulant child. While people make up versions of the truth all the time that they sincerely thing is true, usually there is more of a motivation behind it then being over-imaginative. The tired, 'war is hell' chapter could have been better spent detailing this further, in my opinion.
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- S. Weller

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-31-2002
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books