Atonement by Ian McEwan, was published in 2001. This is a beautifully written novel, set in upper-class England, and centers around a huge injustice meted out to a lower-class young man in the summer of 1935. The characters and their lives are well drawn, and when coupled with class expectations, everything fits perfectly to allow this horrible unfairness to go undetected. I loved this book so much when I read it that I really did not wish to see the movie when it came out years later (2008). I relented. While the movie does a good job and is quite faithful to the novel, nothing can compare with the joy of actually reading this finely portrayed story.
"What did he say?"
"Nothing. I mean, it was the sound of his voice, breathing, noises. But I couldn't see. I couldn't say for sure."
"Well I can. And I will."
And so their respective positions, which were to find public expression in the weeks and months to come, and then be pursued as demons in private for many years afterward, were established in these moments by the lake, with Briony's certainty rising whenever her cousin appeared to doubt herself.