Dear Cecilia, Please don't throw this away without reading it. As you'll have seen from the notepaper, I'm here at St. Thomas's, doing my nurses' training. I decided not to take up my place at Cambridge. I decided I wanted to make myself useful, do something practical. But no matter how hard I work, no matter how long the hours, I can't escape from what I did and what it meant, the full extent of which I'm only now beginning to grasp. Cee, please write and tell me we can meet. Your sister, Briony.

Briony - 18 years old

I want to thank you for saving my life. I'll be eternally grateful to you.

Briony Tallis, aged 13

So, my sister and Robbie were never able to have the time together they both so longed for... and deserved. Which ever since I've... ever since I've always felt I prevented. But what sense of hope or satisfaction could a reader derive from an ending like that? So in the book, I wanted to give Robbie and Cecilia what they lost out on in life. I'd like to think this isn't weakness or... evasion... but a final act of kindness. I gave them their happiness.

Older Briony

Briony Tallis, aged 13: Cee?
Cecilia Tallis: Yes?
Briony Tallis, aged 13: Why don't you talk to Robbie anymore?
Cecilia Tallis: I do. We just move in different circles, that's all.

There is no Briony.

How can you hate plays?

Briony Tallis, aged 13

Briony Tallis, aged 13: Lola, can I tell you something? Something really terrible?
Lola Quincey: Yes please.
Briony Tallis, aged 13: What's the worse word you can possibly imagine?

I am very, very sorry for the terrible distress that I have caused you. I am very, very sorry...

Briony - 18 years old

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Briony Tallis

Briony Tallis Picture

Briony Tallis is, really, the driving force behind Atonement. It is her lie that sets the events of the story in motion, as the scorned child accuses Robbie of a crime he did not commit. The rest of Briony's life is spent trying to make up for this error in judgment, trying to atone for it.

Played By
Saoirse Ronan
Full Name
Briony Tallis