Briony Tallis is a young girl with a big imagination. She aspires to be a writer and when we meet her at the beginning of the novel, she is writing a play to be performed by herself and her visiting cousins.
Unfortunately this big imagination of hers gets her into a lot of trouble on this fateful day.
While preparing for her cousins arrival; she see's her older sister Cecelia in what she can only imagine is a compromising position with the gardener. The gardener has been a family friend
for years and has just finished University with Cecelia. The scene she witnesses is harmless and innocent, however it starts the cogs turning in Briony's brain, and this memory stays with her for the rest of the day. Unknown to her, the vision will effect the rest of her life after she tries to defend her sister's honour.
The book is written in 3 parts.
Part 1 is an introduction to all the characters, from different
viewpoints, but mainly from Briony's perspective. I found this very hard to get into as - in my opinion - Briony is a very unlikeable character.
She is quite selfish and loves having all the attention
to herself, displayed when her cousins arrive and her older one soon takes on the lead role in the play which Briony had assigned to herself. It took a long time to get through this part, and to be honest at this stage I really didn't think I was going to enjoy the book at all, or even finish it.
Part 2 is set during the second world war, and features the above gardener (Rob's) serving in France. I flew through this section, it's full of action and adventure and heartbreak but is beautiful
and moving to read.
Once I reached this point of the book, I started to really enjoy it, and couldn't wait to finish it.
Despite the struggle at the start I would recommend this book, just need to watch the movie now to see how that compares!