Atonement Part 1, Chapter 8 Summary

Ian McEwan

Part 1, Chapter 8 Summary

The evening sky is beautiful, but Robbie is not looking at it. Instead, he is soaking in a cramped bathtub full of tepid water in the attic bathroom of the servants’ bungalow that had baked in the sun all day. He contemplates for the first time how beautiful Cecilia is, recalling how as she rose, dripping from the water, he spotted a mole, a birthmark, and the tiny flower in the center of her brassiere. They had virtually ignored one another while in school, and he had always thought of her more as a sister than anything else. That has forever changed for him.

He leaves the tub and falls naked onto the bed, groaning at the impossibility of his situation. Cecilia had stripped and retrieved the pieces of the broken vase...

(The entire section is 1048 words.)