This novel was incredible. So incredible, it only took me a week to read it! Can you believe it, friends? ONE WEEK. I'm not so much proud of myself (I can read a book in a day if I really want to, duh), but more so excited that I found a book on the list that I actually found completely captivating. I had to know what happened next. And so I found myself coming home after 9 or 10 hour work days, fixing myself a drink and taking a bubble bath with this book. Even in a complete state of exhaustion I was compelled to find out what that little bitch Briony would do next.
Oh, am I being too insensitive? Was Briony just a sheltered, precocious child who made a mistake and was bullied into sticking by her lie? No freakin' way. She was a spoiled brat. And even if she thought she was protecting her sister, it doesn't take long to realize that everything has gone to shit and maybe you should tell someone the truth. Maybe then a great love isn't destroyed. Maybe then you don't turn the lives of everyone around you into a complete tragedy. I have no sympathy for Briony. I thought her attempt at redemption (becoming a nurse, really?) was completely trite and her falsified "atonement" only infuriated me.
Have you ever actually become angry while reading an epilogue? Because I totally did. I was pissed. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU MADE THAT LAST SCENE UP? WHAT? WHY? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ME???" Okay, I didn't actually shout, but only because The BF was very focused on his video game, and also, shouting at midnight makes neighbors very angry. But I was shouting on the inside. My little stomach was swinging its fists and my blood cells were a'boilin'.
The gist: Another depressing novel, yes. Tragic to the very (infuriating) end. But, so, so worth it. It's beautifully told and so gripping you won't be able to think about anything else until you've finished. And even then, you'll probably mutter to yourself occasionally about that little b-word, Briony.
UPDATE: OHMYGOD. You mention that stupid vampire series ONCE (AS A JOKE), and google starts putting ads up for ways to "find your own Edward". BARF. I hope putting this here doesn't mean I get more crappy ads. Just to be safe:
A Great and Terrible Beauty - Libba Bray (seriously read it....amazing!)