Book Review – The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
A short novel but is one that it is packed and one that is very easy to read. It deals the past and how we can often our memories of events can be affected by the passage of time. Are we remembering events or are we remembering our interpretation of events?
The book is in two parts. The first part deals with the narrator, Tony Webster, his life at school and his friendship with three chums including the very intelligent Adrian Finn. The four friends discover girls, sex and university and swear to stay friends for ever. Tony meets the enigmatic Veronica and spends a really awkward weekend with her family. The relationship fails and Adrian subsequently takes up with Veronica. Letters are exchanged between Adrian and Tony that will haunt Tony later in the book. Adrian’s suicide is a shock to all his friends. Tony drifts away from his school friends and has a fairly dreary and meaningless life. He marries but divorces but is still on good terms with his ex-wife and has a close relationship with his daughter.
The second part of the book begins with Tony receiving a letter out of the blue from solicitors saying that Veronica’s mother has died but has left him a bequest. The bequest leads him into contact with Veronica and her brother once again and an eventual re-examination of the events told in part one of the book.
There is a twist at the end of the book that I did not foresee. Personally I would have preferred more background information about events leading up to the twist. The characters in the book are excellently portrayed. There is humour in the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would heartily recommend it.
A Leeds Libraries borrower
Reserve a copy of Sense of an Ending online and pick it up from your nearest library.