During World War II in London, writer Maurice Bendrix carries on an affair with the very married Sarah Miles, who lives across the Common from his flat. It is this affair that is at the heart of The End of the Affair by Graham Greene. Near the end of the war, Sarah has ended the affair, and Bendrix is confused and angry, believing she has left him for another man. Throughout the novel, we learn why Sarah has chosen to end the affair, and watch as the characters struggle to reconcile their personal lack of belief in God and religion with the inevitable pull they feel toward God.
I found this book to be interesting and enjoyable. It is clear that the struggles with God and faith exhibited by the characters, particularly Sarah, are the struggles that Greene himself struggled with during his life. And that gave it a realistic feel. But I don’t love this book the way other people do. When it comes to books, I’m a big fan of characters. I have to be engaged by the characters in order to enjoy a book. I don’t have to love them, so long as I feel *something* about them. And I didn’t really have that with any of the characters in this book. At times, I felt a little bad for each of the three main characters, but it was never more than a passing blip of sympathy before I continued on to being indifferent where they were concerned. When it came down to it, I never believed that Maurice was ever in love with Sarah. Obsessed with her, yes, but it just didn’t seem to me that he really loved her.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
888 Category: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
Review cross-posted to: 1% Well Read