Off the Shelf: An Unsuspecting Gem of a Novel (Book Review)

I'm not quite sure how this well-known, award-winning author has escaped my radar for so long, but thanks to a "New eBooks" listing on my Nook's library app, I found this gem. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes is about Tony, a 60 year old man who, due to bizarre circumstances, is forced to take a look back at his life and reexamine the person he believes he is.

In all honesty, this title actually came with a one-star recommendation for me.  But, the description caught my attention and I took the chance. I could not put this book down.  I was completing intrigued by where this story was going. I found myself sneaking off to the bedroom, away from the mayhem of motherhood, to continue Tony's story.

This witty, highly-intelligent novel focuses on the concept that life is about perception, not actuality. In other words, it is our personal interpretation of the events in our lives that affects who we are and how we see ourselves. Often, this view of ourselves is very different than the image others have of us.  Part of our self-preserving nature as humans is to adapt memories to conveniently fit our lives, or the lives we believe we are living. Do we truly remember events only as they are suitable to us?

Suspenseful and beautifully written, the story will captivate your psyche and urge you on to the next page as it takes you back some 40 years to try and piece it all together before Tony does.  I look forward to reading more works by Julian Barnes.

Read more of my book reviews.


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