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
[in a letter] My darling, Briony found my address somehow and sent a letter. The first surprise was she didn't go up to Cambridge. She's doing nurses' training at my old hospital. I think she may be doing this as some kind of penance. She says she's beginning to get the full grasp of what she did and what it meant. She wants to come and talk to me.Cecilia Tallis
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.
Now go and wash the blood of your face.Sister Drummond
There is no Briony.Briony (18 years old)
Robbie Turner: Have you been in touch with your family?
Cecilia Tallis: No I told you I wouldnt. Leon waited outside the hospital last week I just pushed past him.
Robbie Turner: Cee, you dont owe me anything.
Cecilia Tallis: Robbie didnt you read my letters? "Had I been allowed to visit you? Had they let me, every day, I would have been there every day.
Robbie Turner: Yes but, if all we have, rests on a few moments in a library three and a half years ago then I am not sure, I dont know...
Cecilia Tallis: Robbie, look at me, come back, come back to me.
How can you hate plays?Briony Tallis, aged 13
Cecilia Tallis: My brother and I found the two of them down by the lake.
Police Inspector: You didn't see anyone else?
Cecilia Tallis: I wouldn't necessarily believe everything Briony tells you. She's rather fanciful.
Leon Tallis: What do you say, Cee? Does the hot weather make you behave badly? Good heavens, you're blushing.
Cecilia Tallis: Just hot in here, that's all.
Bite it... You've got to bite it...Paul Marshall