It took me a while to get into this book because McEwan's prose is rich (and at times heavy) delving into his character's conscious experiences moment by moment. I thought the whole story was going to be set in the opening scene in the country house, but then things take a turn when Briony witnesses a sexual exchange between Ceila and Robbie. From her childish viewpoint, she does not realise the huge consequences of what she does afterwards, which is tragic. The fate of the couple is heart-wrenching and stayed with me for days after finishing this book. I'm glad I haven't seen the film, it might have tainted my reading experience. Highly recommended, but McEwan's writing style gets a little getting used to.