Front cover of an edition of Atonement.

Atonement is a romance novel by Ian McEwan. It was first published in 2001. Atonement takes you back to summer of 1935, takes you through World War II, and to the end of the twentieth century. All four parts take a view of characters Briony and Cecilia Tallis and Robbie Turner (with one from Emily Tallis), all of whom are torn apart from each other.


Part 1 When Leon Tallis, brother of Cecilia and Briony Tallis, and a friend come home to visit, Briony makes a play to perform for him. Her cousins, Lola, Jackson, and Pierrot, arrived a few days before due to a split from their parents, and are staying at the Tallis'. Briony puts them to work with her play, but it soon fall apart when nothing worked right. Cecilia is told by her mother to fill a vase for Leon's friend's (Paul Marshall) bedroom, Cecilia finally obliges and put some hand-picked wildflowers and water in an old vase. She decided not to get water from the kitchen, so she went to the fountain. She passed by her childhood friend, Robbie Turner, on the way, and he offers to fill the vase for her.