Atonement Part 3, Section 3 Summary

Ian McEwan

Part 3, Section 3 Summary

The trainees get an unexpected and rare afternoon off, though they must stay in uniform. They talk of war as they sit in their chairs on the lawn. Briony wonders if Robbie was fighting in France, and what Cecilia would do if he died in battle. For the first time the two imminent crises in her life—the war and what she did to her sister and Robbie—have converged. One is a secret torment; the other is a public upheaval. The best scenario would be to change the past, but that is not possible. If Robbie does not return—she cannot finish the thought.

She and Fiona walk across the grounds and end up on the Westminster Bridge; there they see the army lorries unloading. At first the girls groan at the thought of more work...

(The entire section is 1048 words.)