All I need to be entertained are cats within ear-scratching distance and a good book . . .OK, maybe that's not ALL I need, but it's a good start.

I love to read. And I love to get recommendations for books to read.

I started Cats and a Book to share the books I read with others. Some I love, some I don't, but you may love the ones I don't, so you're welcome to post your own comments and suggestions.

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Happy reading!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes, is a meandering, reflective, and philosophical novel. Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize, the book is told from the perspective of Tony Webster, as he looks back on a school friendship and relationship, trying to decipher the significance of both in his life.  At the time of the story's telling, he is retired, divorced, and living alone. Still friends with his ex-wife, he tells her of a recent inheritance from the mother of a former girlfriend and the puzzling encounters he has with her. 

Tony inherits the journal of Adrian, one of three close friends from school. Adrian is the one in the group who is different.  He is brilliant, and they are all drawn to him, including Veronica, Tony's girlfriend.  When Adrian and Veronica inform Tony they are involved, Tony fires off a bitter letter to them, which comes back to haunt him decades later. 

After Adrian's suicide, Tony loses touch with his friends, including Veronica.  But Veronica's mother's recent death, which results in the odd bequest of Adrian's journal, brings Tony and Veronica back into contact.  And, Tony learns something unexpected and surprising about Veronica, her mother, and Adrian. 

The Sense of an Ending is quintessential Barnes:  wry, witty, academic, reflective, and sometimes tedious.  This short novel is aptly named, but there are times the reader may wonder what drew Tony to Veronica and made him want to decipher the secret that she held, except to achieve "the sense of an ending." 

The Sense of an Ending was published by Borzoi Books in 2011.

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