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Atonement

by Ian McEwan

Thirteen-year-old Briony, living in an idyllic English country house before the Second World War, witnesses an event which will change forever the lives of herself, her sister and her childhood friend. I was engrossed throughout but the complete mood change after the first section caught me unawares and played havoc with my emotions.

Extract

In a spirit of mutinous resistance, she climbed the grassy slope to the bridge, and when she stood on the driveway, she decided she would stay there and wait until something significant happened to her. This was the challenge she was putting to existence - she would not stir, not for dinner, not even for her mother calling her in. She would simply wait on the bridge, calm and obstinate, until events, real events, not her own fantasies, rose to her challenge, and dispelled her insignificance.

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