Thursday, November 29, 2007

in the meantime...

So, I keep planning to put up a post about which book (either Twilight, New Moon, or Eclipse) from Stephenie Meyer's series is my favorite. I already know which it is - but I really want to reread it so I can give deep insight *cough* into why it is my favorite. I am unable to read two books at once (I have to finish one before I can start another, I mean - I'm not sure anyone can literally read two books at once).

So I work at a library and I request a lot of books, usually popular ones. I am at the mercy of two things when reading my request: how long I can keep a book and when it arrives. I say all this to say, currently, all my holds are mysteriously arriving at once and I have been slammed with reading. So, in the meantime, here is a critique of another book some of you might like:

Atonement by Ian McEwan

This story takes place over a span of years, but all begins when 13 year old Briony sees her sister in a situation she does not understand. Seeing her sister, Cecilia looking distressed (in reality from passion, to the child from fear) in Robbie Turner's arms, Briony makes a mistaken, and child-like assumption. With this thought, one of Robbie as a "maniac", Briony makes an irreversable decision to protect her sister, and all others, from Robbie at all costs. This single moment sets in action a chain of events that effect everyone in the Tallis home that summer evening in the 1930's pre-war England. For Cecilia and Robbie, their love is on the brink of never being allowed to thrive. For Briony Tallis, it means a seemingly endless pursuit for atonement.

This story reminded me very much of "Cold Mountain" (the book of CM is so much better than the movie), but I'd have to say that I prefer this novel to Charles Frazier's. The language and symbolism is quite beautiful. Often told from changing view points, McEwan has no problem embodying so many different minds and intentions, especially those of 13 year old Briony. Atonement is not plot driven, so mush as curiosity driven, due to the wonderful characterization by the author. I'll leave it here, because I am recommending this book and do not wish to spoil it.

I will warn those who might be interested, this book has pretty heavy language and gory war scenes. It also deals very deeply with regret, guilt and other sometimes troubling emotions. Oh, and the twist at the end sent me reeling, even though I sort of saw it coming.

For an excerpt, click here.

Also, a movie version is to have limited release here in the U.S. on December 7th. (of course I would advise reading the book first as with all book/movie franchises)

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