Monday, April 1, 2013

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

The Sense of an EndingThe Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

** spoiler alert ** The Sense of an Ending was a beautifully written, compelling tale whose main character, Tony Webster, is an unreliable narrator, always a challenge to the reader. I have a problem recommending the book because I had difficulties with the plot which seemed unbelievable. The denouement was a surprise to me and I did not feel the key characters, the mother and Adrian, fit into this scenario. Did the woman flip off her marriage and daughter as casually as she did the broken egg? Was this our clue? And would this same woman have chosen the path she did with the child? Or remembered Tony in her will? Would the Adrian who went to the trouble of writing Tony that he was seeing his ex-girlfriend slip into a relationship with her mother? For any of this to offer a ring of truth, I would need a lot more information.

I appreciated Tony's comments on aging, life and memory. His goals of stereotypically English "peacebleness" countered his determination and email stalking of Veronica who remains a cipher. I too closed the book with a feeling of dissatisfaction.

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