As I am getting older and faced with life’s challenges, I realize that much of what I thought was important for my younger self is rendered utterly irrelevant by the passing of time. Meanings shift and change. Tony Webster, a retired middle-aged divorcee and narrator of The Sense of an Ending, comes to a similar realization.
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes is a compact, contemporary novel of only 150 pages, but jampacked with a skillfully plotted story about friendship, youth suicide, eros (sexual love) and thanatos (death), loss, affairs, pregnancy, remorse, the complexity of the human heart, the fragmentary nature of memory, the passage of time, and with a strong mystery at the core of it. "History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation." p.59
A warning though, its effect can be disturbing, leaving you unsettled and frustrated once you reach the story’s ending. The enigmas, as well as the stunning psychological and emotional depth it offers sum up the pleasure of the book. No wonder it gained the reputation for being the book that you must read twice to search "sense" in a hazy "ending".