Beginning in the 1930s, a young Briony accuses the cleaning lady’s son of assaulting her visiting cousin, Lola, because Briony found a note from Robbie to her sister Ceclia. This is amidst attempts of Briony to have her visiting cousins act in her play, The Trials of Arabella. The rest of the book follows Briony through adulthood as she tries to make up for her earlier indescretion that affected Robbie, Cecila, & her lives. We shift to France in 1941, with Robbie in the British Army, and to the London military hospitals where both Cecilia and Briony are training to be nurses.
The story without a hero (pause) has a heroine. The question remains: is she Becky or Amelia? Flat ending: too much drama to be believable. Tons of characters, all interwoven, three generations worth. Poverty and wealth, 19th century life, the ending seemed to taper off into nothing, all ends were tied up neatly. But how else is a book like this to end? Unless it ends when Dobbin leaves Amelia. That would have satisfied me. There are no glorious battles to go off and fight these days; there is no glory in today’s world.