This one has been on my list for quite some time – Atonement, by Ian Mcewan.
I loved it, although it took some perseverance to get to that point. The first third of the book reads like Jane Austen writing in the 1930s – all society, who’s related to who, who’s marrying who, who makes how much money, and who’s in parliament. Tedious. It was a struggle to get through it, but I’d heard it was worth the effort.
Another tip: Don’t read the summary of the movie before reading the book. In typical Hollywood style, most of them give away the one great surprise of the book. This is why I never watch previews.
The story is gripping. The characters are dreadful and very believable, and I greatly enjoyed it. Recommended.