Atonement by Ian McEwan

I know I am way behind just finally getting to this now, but better late than never.  Excellent read.  A study of guilt and atonement, childhood and adulthood, innocence and deceit, and all the blurry places inbetween. Briony is a young child with a blurred perception of the world, attempting to step into the adult world and adult situations but with childlike reactions and a lack of understanding that causes her to see the world in black and white, in absolutes.  She is a fantasist and while some of this can be attributed and excused due to her age, not all of it can be.  She crosses a line and makes a false accusation that shatters her family and destroys a young man’s future.  Amidst this wreckage, WWII begins and strews the pieces even further apart.  (There is a Ming vase that provides a telling metaphor for the family)

The post modern style works particularly well here in light of the times and perspectives covered in the book.  The ending was one of my favorite parts of the book, when Briony retreats almost to her childlike ideas and  reveals the true nature of the book itself.  I had a hard time starting with this one, but after the first 100 pages it took off and I was totally absorbed in it.  Highly recommended read!

Illegally Iced by Jessica Beck

This is book 9 in the Donut Shop mystery featuring Suzanne Hart and her donut shop.  The recurring characters of Grace, George, the Chief and her mother remain the same. i have enjoyed this seris all the way along, however this was not the strongest outing in this series.  The final motive when revealed was weak and just difficult to buy into it.  There were a few red herrings that were interesting but I didn’t really believe them.  I will still continue with the series because I have enjoyed it up to now and one misstep in 9 books is really not bad.