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'The best thing he has ever written' Observer

On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country hosue. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.


He is this country’s unrivalled literary giant … a fascinatingly strange, unique and gripping novel

Indepentent On Sunday

A brilliant and majestic fictional panorama.

John Updike, The New Yorker

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Formats & editions

Also by Ian McEwan

On Chesil Beach (Vintage Summer)
The Children Act
Sweet Tooth
First Love, Last Rites
For You
On Chesil Beach
Rose Blanche
Black Dogs
The Innocent
Enduring Love
The Child In Time
In Between the Sheets
The Comfort Of Strangers
The Cement Garden
The Daydreamer


The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Beauty in Thorns
Echo Burning
A Gentleman in Moscow
Best Laid Plans
The 7th Function of Language
The Award
Fool Me Once
The Golden House
The Girl on the Train
The Heart's Invisible Furies
Swing Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Girls
Cold Blood
Fifty Shades Darker
Life After Life