8 of 17
351 pages; Anchor Books
The Premise: In 1935, while at home in her family's mansion in the English countryside, 13-year-old Briony misinterprets something she sees and makes a terrible accusation—one that she will forever regret. The novel takes us through WWII and all the way into the 1990s, as Briony tries to make amends to the lovers she tore apart.

Why the Ending Is a Stunner: McEwan breaks your heart not once, but twice—and leaves you wiser for it.
— Dawn Raffel