Request Book Kit

Book and Author

Atonement :  One day.  A day when a young imaginative girl made a decison that forever changed three lives.  Is there ever any way to make atonement?  Published in 2001, 351 pages.

Ian McEwan: Born in AldershotHampshire, (England), McEwan spent a lot of his early childhood abroad in east Asian, Germany and northern Africa due to his father’s career in the British army.  His literary career has lead to him being featured him on the list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945” published by The Times in 2008.  Here he discusses his creative process with The Guardian and how he was lead to write Atonement:

Video link:

Quote from the book: 

“It wasn’t only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.”


Topics this book will bring up for discussion include:

  • The motivations behind Briony’s actions and how culpable–at 13–children are for what they do.
  • The qualities that make a man, such a Robbie a “romantic hero”–or otherwise–and how his later actions in the war prove or disprove the basic “heroic” qualities of his character.
  • The novel’s two endings–and which one the group member’s preferred.

More discussion questions are available from

Enhance has an Atonement themed menu in it’s Dinner and a Book sectsconesion that has some great ideas for traditional English foods you can serve at your meeting–like these classic scones.

Your group may want to plan a night to watch the 2007 film adaption of Atonement that stars James McAvoy and Keira Knightly–followed by the obligatory “book vs. the film” discussion.


Have you or your group read Atonement?  Would you recommend it to other book groups?

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