Monday, February 25, 2008

Atonement - Ch. 24

--by Abby (ending pg. 405)

Ah! Action! The war has hit London. Briony's hospital is overrun with the wounded and dying. Bones sticking through the skin, crude stitches, exposed intestines and brains. Disgusting!! I love it. What isn't better with a little blood on it?

The end of the chapter is a long letter of rejection for one of Briony's stories. It's her tale of the infamous day at the fountain. No forward progress is the critique. I can identify. Interestingly, the editors seem to think she's a man (since they ask if she's a doctor, not a nurse) and one of them apparently knows Cecilia from Girton.

Everything important in this story comes down to one day. Briony made an actual friend, encountered the horrors of war, learned to be a nurse, and was kindly rejected as a writer. The fact that she enjoyed her nursing and wants to be good at it makes me like her more. I hope she keeps that up, as opposed to abandoning it to be a brilliant writer. That would be lame.

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