The story is centered around three main characters, each one giving us their perspective throughout the book.
Robbie is the son of a gardener and a cleaning lady for the Tallis family, he is a bright young man, always aspiring to be more. Mr. Tallis paid for his education at Cambridge, where he studied along with Cecilia. (And this alone made me jump to conclusions)He is a good-natured guy, helping everyone around him, to the point when his good acts come to be seen as a crime, according to a childs' imaginative mind. Cecilia, a liberal girl, is the oldest daughter of the Tallises. Her education has separerad her from her family, but for some reason she can't seem to leave home, even while dreaming of moving out. Something is keeping her there, and just as she realizes what is it, her life is turned upside down. Briony can't seem to understand her, she is messy, unorganized and a smoker. Briony the protagonist, is the most abnormal and clueless character. She loves her family so much that she will go to GREAT lengths to protect them. She consideres herself a writer, having written short stories since she was 7, and constantly having her nose in a thesaurus. Like I said, she has a very imaginative mind, as well as a young one. Being 13, she is right between being a child and an adult,a folly young girl, which lead her to misinterpret events, having no common sense she ruines peoples lives.
I really hated Briony, even if she doesn't know any better. And I wouldn't say this was atonement on Briony's side, more like guilt and a cowardly attempt at an apology. But in her crazy mind she did make it all better, in my mind she just wanted to write another good story. After reading this book I am looking forward to reading other books by McEwan, his elaborate story telling, character development and subtle shifts in events are something special. Overall the book was really great, I loved it, and the movie doesn't stray far from the book. Only little details are changed, and they don't really play a big part in the storyline. I think the actors that play the characters were well chosen. Especially Briony, that girl did a great job playing her character. I would recommend this book frist, and then the movie. It's one of few that actually follow the book really well.