rating: 5 of 5 stars
Atonement has given me a lot of cause for thought. I identified with Briony's discovery that other people must each have their own secret lives happening in their head. She views that thought with distaste. I have simply had moments, at work, or the grocery store, where it's as if a light has gone on, and I'm suddenly looking around and thinking that all these people are absorbed in a different story from mine. It is so easy to see people as simple actors in our own private play. It's so easy to be wrapped up in our own head, and forget that others have thoughts and feelings. If we allow that to happen, we run the risk of making the same choices that Briony made. Perhaps in smaller ways, perhaps not.
Another lesson I took away from this book, is that we cannot foresee how our actions have the potential to change the course of another life. Even the possibility of ruining lives. We must always be aware that our actions, no matter how small, will affect others in ways we cannot reverse...and that we may never have the chance for atonement.
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