The Sense of An Ending By Julian Barnes Presented by Mrs. Frink.
The Sense of An Ending
By Julian Barnes
by Mrs. Frink
TThe Sense of an Ending is about a group of friends. The narrator is Tony, who tells the story of their high school and university years from the vantage point of a middle aged man. His memory of some key events proves to be way off the mark. Although Tony is the narrator, the most interesting character to me is Adrian, who joined the group of friends as a new boy when they were in high school.
Adrian Finn, a tall, shy guy who kept his eyes down and his thoughts to himself. At first.
Adrian said things his friends thought would make the teachers mad … but the teachers loved Adrian’s philosophical courage. His honesty later triggers an event that leads to tragedy.
The Sense of an Ending packs some serious vocabulary. One word I want to share is
Weepingly or tearfully
From Latin lacrima, tear.
I love this word because it describes something that happens all the time in the classroom !)
A soft, whispering or rustling sound.
From Latin susurare, to whisper.
Favoritism granted by persons in high office to relatives or friends.
From Latin, nepos, nephews.
From Old English, wynn, pleasure, joy .
Adhering to the belief that the self is the only reality.
From Latin, solus, alone + ipse, self.
This short novel is set in a London’s boys school in the 1960’s. Barnes describes the times from the boys’ point of view. They know that the 1960’s are a time of liberation for many – but they are not experiencing many adventures during the first part of the novel.
Tony and the guys should get out more often.
I loved reading about the landmarks of one of my favorite cities. Also, the importance of the campus to the story reminded me of another great book, A Separate Peace.
The book’s plot centers around Tony and his first girlfriend Veronica. Tony is sensitive to his middle class status when he visits Veronica and her wealthy family at the country home. After the couple breaks up, friendships are strained when tall, shy Adrian dates Veronica after college.
Tony remembers handling this problem in a smooth, sophisticated manner … but, if so, how to explain all the tragedy which follows?
One theme of The Sense of an Ending is our staggering inability to understand even the people we love the most – and how this haunts us as the years go by.
The best place to read this book:
A beautiful high school or college campus
Best food to have while reading The Sense of an Ending:
An omelet … because Veronica’s rich, odd mother does something quite strange after fixing Tony some eggs.