Book Reviews

Six Degrees of Separation: Atonement by Ian McEwan



This month’s book to start a Six Degrees of Separation chain is Atonement by Ian Mc Ewan. I confess I have not read this one [yet]. It’s been on my mental to read list since it was published. I should just read it! I loved his recent book The Children Act. [You can read my review of it HERE or read HERE the actors I would cast for the movie version.] But Atonement, though unread, conjures up thoughts of other books–most also unread!


#1 Corelli’s Mandolin: A Novel by Louis de Bernieres


I actually own a copy of this book and have, on two occasions, picked it up and got as far in as the second chapter before becoming distracted and forgetting about it. I believe Hugh Grant was seen reading it in a film–that may be why it became so popular for a while back in the dark ages of my (and Hugh’s) early adulthood. It is one of those books that instantly comes to mind whenever Atonement is mentioned. In my mind both have “that” sort of prose. I’m probably wrong about that. No matter. It’s my chain!


#2 The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie


The Satanic Verses caused a sensation in the pre-Internet world of the late ’80s. I recall bringing a copy home from the library, spending a few minutes starting to read it and then remembering Dallas was starting on tv.  This book has nothing to do with the time or setting of Atonement, but it always comes to mind when Atonement is mentioned. It was very popular with my fellow Peace Corps volunteers, too.


#3 Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez



Atonement always seems to be a great title for Gabriel Barcia Marquez to use. This is the book of his that comes to mind when I hear Atonement mentioned. I truly want to read Love in the Time of Cholera and will get to it eventually.


#4 Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro



Never Let Me Go mirrors the sort of school the upper-class characters in Atonement would have atteneded. I’ve read Remains of the Day by Ishiguro, but I’m not really sure Never Let Me Go will ever make it to my to-read list.

#5 The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee



At the moment I’m not sure where my copy of this book is, but I can say I got much farther into it before it disappeared than I ever did with the Satanic Verses or Corelli’s Mandolin! This one comes to mind because a character will certainly have something to “atone” for!

The ONE I’ve Actually Read


#6 The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje


This one I finally read (listened to) recently. It cemented in my mind the idea of the prose of Atonement matchingg tthe style of this book. I’m probably wrong.


You can join in Six Degrees of Separation on the first Saturday of each month. View the rules at the top of this post, then go to the blog Books Are My Favorite and Best to post your link–or to read all of this month’s great book chains.

7 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: Atonement by Ian McEwan

  1. Oh, wow, you’ve got some great books listed here. Have I read them? No I haven’t, but they have all been on my list at one time or another. If I had to choose one to pick up, it would likely be NEVER LET ME GO. What is it about books set at boarding schools? They always intrigue me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me, too! I went thru a phase as a kid in wanting to go to one. Never would happen since we weren’t in that “league” but still fun to imagine. Though as I look at as an adult I’d have been so miserable!


  2. Ha, I like that idea and may ‘borrow’ it: all the books I meant to get to but never quite have and now probably never will! I gave up on The Satanic Verses as well, and rather regretted reading Captain Corelli to the end (although it was set in Greece and I have Greek family connections).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “…spending a few minutes starting to read it and then remembering Dallas was starting on tv…’ That made me laugh out loud!

    Funnily enough, one that I haven’t read from your list is The English Patient. AND I haven’t seen the film either!

    Liked by 1 person

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