This book found it’s way to my Kindle by a leap of faith. It was my first venture into British literature since Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Yes, I am a Geek. And yes, I consider the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to be literature. The Sense of an Ending won The Man Booker Prize, which is given annually to the finest literary fiction on the British Isles. Not being from across the pond, I had little faith this would turn out well, but an award meant something and so I bought it and read it. The book was nothing short of amazing.
The book is divided into two parts. The first begins with the main character, Tony, attending a boarding school and forming a close relationship with a group of students. One of them is an intellectual named Adrian. The two become very close friends until graduation when they go their separate ways to college. Tony begins his first serious relationship with a girl named Veronica. Everything goes well enough until an awkward weekend with her parents begins to sour the relationship. The romance finally ends when Veronica begins to date Adrian and forgets to tell Tony. Not to worry, because Adrian is such a stand up guy he writes a letter asking for permission to date Veronica. Tony replies in a manner expected of one who finds out from his best friend that he is dating his girlfriend. Tony never speaks to any of them again. That’s the end of part one. Pretty straight forward and to the point, and now, it get’s interesting.
Part two begins 40 years later. Tony receives a check for several hundred pounds (Yeah, it’s British) from Veronica’s mother’s will. Because of this strange gift, Tony is forced to deal with Veronica who he has not seen in 40 years. Veronica begins to conjure up memories which lead to Tony questioning himself and everything he has perceived to be true about the relationship with Adrian, Veronica and Veronica’s mother. Veronica begins to provide Tony with clues to the mystery and slowly a picture builds. Tony cannot completely put the puzzle together until the very end when in the last few pages the truth comes together, the real story, with a twist so huge it made my brain completely useless the rest of the day.
The writing is superb and ripe with personal imagery. I can only compare it to a warm, rich chocolate brownie that must be savored slowly a bite at a time. The book is short compared to most books at 163 pages and begs to be read again and again. If you are looking for a masterful page turner, check this one out. You will not be disappointed.