Atonement, Ian McEwan, 2001
Final book in James Wood’s course and a wonderful and upsetting tale like most of McEwan’s books. I had an approach-avoidance reaction to it. Powerful, explicit, moving story and prose with an underlying sense of dread as the story unfolds. Briony, Robbie, Cecilia, Lola, Marshall—all embroidered and embroiled in a fabric of tragedy both personal and global as WWII threatens and then erupts. The novelist’s dilemma of god-like control over the characters while asking the reader to suspend disbelief. Top notch.