Random House (Vintage). 372 pages.
I wasn’t particularly eager to grab a copy of this, most especially after having read the very bleugh Enduring Love. But I have to admit, I got into a major go with the big flow mode-when the movie came out and a couple of friends raved about the book.
When I finally had the time to get a copy, I had a good conversation with the cashier about the book. (Ok, well, about James Mc Avoy mostly) In a non-salestalk manner, she guaranteed me that I will surely enjoy it.
And I did. I really did. It took me about 2 weeks (Ian Mc Ewan should not be speed-read at all) but I really relished it. Fine wine, he is. I planned to read it before watching the movie, but my impatience kicked in and watched the movie when I was on the second chapter.
Where exactly do we draw the line between being ‘too young to be responsible’ or ‘old enough to know what’s right or wrong’? 13 year old Briony Tallis has a flair for writing, and is sensible and mature for her age. So when she sees her sister Cecilia and the housekeeper’s son Robbie in a highly unusual and odd scenario, she immediately felt responsible to ‘save the day’. Events that lead throughout that day and the decision that Briony makes change the lives of all characters forever.
Don’t read this book if you’re in for fast pacing and adrenalin. Read it purely for its words and emotions. McEwan is definitely the master of all human thought and emotions. If you think you are the only human being capable of thinking or feeling certain things–think again. Ian McEwan has read and written your thoughts out. And has produced best-selling novels with it.
It was a joy watching the movie and seeing that only a few very minor details are changed. Even the script is almost exact.
And most of all, Keira Knightley is not THAT annoying in the movie. But hardly deserving of any award. Romola Garai, the actress who plays the 18-year old Briony is just spectacular.
Wonderful soundtrack and score as well.
Keira Knightley and Saoirse Ronan as Cecilia and Briony Tallis
the brilliant James McAvoy as Robbie Turner
Briony Tallis at 18. Wonderfully portrayed by Romola Garai.
behind it all: Ian McEwan