I finished an astonishing book this weekend.
I had not really planned to read The Sense of an Ending. I knew of its author, Julian Barnes, and knew he had become well-respected in literary circles. However, I just was browsing our new book section one afternoon and saw the book, noted it was quite slender, and decided to try it.
The Sense of an Ending is beautifully written and hauntingly difficult to put out of your mind. It highlights for the reader what repercussions can echo through decades of time and relationships from one simple, angry action. It is a meditation on memory and on how we manipulate our recall of the past to paint ourselves in the best possible light. Its ending is nothing short of shocking. I found myself compelled to re-read whole sections of the book after I completed it the first time, in part just to see if I could have foreseen the end. It reminded me of Atonement by Ian McEwan.
This is not easy reading, but it is a book that will bear fruit for you long after you finish it. I recommend it.
I also want to announce that we are beginning a series of book discussions around the theme Places in the Heart. These will take place on the second Thursday of each month in the meeting room of the Chatham library. The books to be discussed are Empire Falls by Richard Russo; A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean; Brothers and Keepers by John Edgar Wideman; Plainsong by Kent Haruf; and Gilead by Marilynn Robinson. Empire Falls will be discussed on April 12. All these books are readily available through both online booksellers and bricks-and-mortar stores. If you want to participate, but need help getting a copy of the book, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.