The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes

Central Library: PR6052.A6657 S46 2011
As I near 50, I find myself re-evaluating my past in ways that weren’t possible even a few years ago. I used to rely on my memory as something solid and real. As memories become softer, less focused, my reliance on their veracity diminishes.

Tony Webster, the sixty-something narrator of The Sense of an Ending, undergoes a similar transformation as he remembers and re-evaluates several relationships from his youth. After receiving notice that he will be inheriting a friend’s journal, he attempts to unravel mysteries and construct a narrative that reconciles his own memories with those of others. It’s no easy task, either intellectually or emotionally, but Webster tackles it with dogged self-assurance,  self doubt, and self-effacing wit.

This book lingered in my mind for days, evoking a sweet melancholy that made me hunger for more books like this—witty,  moving, and profound. This is the first Julian Barnes book I’ve read, but it will not be my last.

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