"Atonement" is a novel written by the English author Ian McEwan. The book was published in 2001.
The protagonist is the 13 year old Briony Tallis. The book is set in the summer of 1935. Briony is just a teenager, yet she already knows that her destiny is writing. She belongs to a high social class, is young and immature, has a fervid imagination and has no qualms, has no hesitation in making serious and serious accusations against Robbie Turner, son of the housekeeper, guilty of being an excellent student wishing to obtain a second degree in medicine and to love Cecilia, the oldest sister of the accuser. And that is how, that hot and apparently harmless day, turns into a nightmare, in a dreadful day that will inexorably change the fate of McEwan's protagonists. Since that evening, in fact, Cee will interrupt any relationship with the family becoming a nurse, Robbie, although innocent, will be convicted and imprisoned - and then get a discount penalty with enlisting at the front - and Briony will touch with hand what are the consequences of own actions. Faced with his statements, no one has questioned about the reity of the same, no one has bothered to hear even the victim or simply look for another culprit. And why, on the other hand, undergo such a disturbance when a scapegoat had already been offered on a silver platter? That goodness that had been revealed for years was nothing but a semblance of good intentions, was nothing but a mix of falsity and generosity of circumstance. In fact, a simple and unfounded insinuation was enough to ensure that, without appeal, the individual was tainted with the abject crime and every wall was raised against him.
Divided into several parts, the work of English class 1948, revolves entirely on the guilt analyzed and experienced from multiple perspectives. The writing, in fact, is divided into four parts; a first focused on a single day - that of the crime - and expressed by the thirteen, a second having what I narrating Robbie, his sense of guilt, his self-denial, his change, his disappointment, the profound sense of death and destruction that surrounds him in war, a third that revises as referring a minor of Tallis, almost eighteen, gripped by the conscience of the error and yet unable to do something in the concrete.
Finally, in a symbolic fourth part, which could be considered an epilogue, the considerations of a seventy-seven-year-old Briony, conclude the message of McEwan by making the reader reflect, bringing it to the awareness of that much desired, desired, desired, yet impossible to achieve.
From a stylistic point of view, the book is supported by a rich, erudite language, and, if we want to be meticulous, in the descriptions of places that are even too wordy. The first part, 194 pages, in particular, although it constitutes a perfect photograph of the society of the time, could be synthesized, in order to guarantee a greater flow.