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Read of the Week: The End of The Affair by Graham Greene

Written by The Reader, 22nd March 2017

This week's Read comes recommended by our Schools Coordinator Natalie who has chosen Graham Greene's The End of the Affair.

A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.”

Set in Clapham during the blitz, this begins as a story of adultery.

Maurice Bendrix, a novelist, is doing research for his writing and makes the acquaintance of his neighbour’s wife, Sarah. They fall in love and have an affair. When Bendrix is nearly killed by a bomb, his mistress suddenly ends the relationship without explanation. Only in retrospect will the meaning of this act of rejection become apparent.

There is something very English about this novel; the rain and the loneliness set against the background of Clapham. The common itself has barely changed to this day. Each time I walk through the area, I can't help but be taken back to the story and envision Bendrix and Henry sitting on a bench in the rain.

Greene writes people very well. His characters are not always likeable, but they are real. Maurice is a jealous man and Sarah a guilty mistress. Greene explores the complexities of human nature thoughtfully.

IMG_2955A book about love, hate, obsession, belief, writing, fate, life, death and warfare. Much more than a story about an affair. This novel was my first introduction to Greene which has developed into a literary love affair of my own.

My bicycle is even named after him: Al Bendrix Green.



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