Author: Ian McEwan
Length: 351 pages
Genre: literary fiction
Plot Basics: Thirteen year-old Briony Tallis sees a moment pass between her older sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner, the gardener's son, one hot summer day. Briony's active imagination makes her think she understands what she sees. But, her interpretation -- caught between a child's understanding and an adult's -- triggers a series of events that changes her, along with Cecelia's and Robbie's forever.
Banter Points: Word Nerd is generally a stickler for reading the book before seeing the movie. This time, though, she saw the movie first, and was reminded when reading the book why she has that rule in the first place. She enjoyed the story and the characters were well-developed, but the book lost something because she knew the twist from the movie. One thing she liked better in the book was the second half. Where in the movie it seemed to drag on, in the book, McEwan's change of tone for that part really propelled it along.
Bummer Points: The ending? Even knowing what was going to happen didn't make it any better.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Read the book before seeing the movie. Also, Word Nerd enjoyed McEwan's style, so she may pick up more of his books in the future.