Very slow to get started but the book redeems itself (just) with its unique ending – one in which I was only too aware that the happy conclusion being depicted is actually the saddest of fictions, told as a form of Atonement by the protagonist/narrator. What happens in the end is in fact as tragic and predictable as I had been priming myself for, but somehow when it came it still took me by surprise. So three stars for that.
But if you’re trying to decide whether to read the book or watch the movie – you can safely go with the latter. This is one book in which the movie is as at least as good as the book (please don’t lynch me, die-hard McEwan fans and GRs movie-adaptation-haters). But if I’m totally honest, hour for hour – 2 hours (with popcorn) vs 2 days turning pages, the movie’s better every time. Leaving you more time to read… something else high up on your “to read” shelf.