At only thirteen years-old, Briony has a limited comprehension of adult behaviour and a great deal of curiosity. Her appalling mistake was made on a very hot day in 1935 when her sister, Cecilia, stripped off in the garden to plunge into the fountain. Surely, even for posh new graduates this was not likely behaviour. You have to let it go though, because it is the basis of the entire story.
Briony observes Robby from her hiding place. He is the son of a servant and, from Briony’s point of view following an awful event she believes she witnessed, a criminal. Over the next sixty years, including the disasters of war, Briony comes to realise the appalling consequences of her error.
I recommend readers to put the silly beginning behind them and enjoy the many very good aspects of this book.