I’ve been wondering what constitutes the difference between a novel and a novella. Julian Barnes’ 2011 Mann Booker Prize winner could certainly be considered to be on the short side, at only 150 pages – however, in the same manner as J.L Carr’s ‘A Month in the Country, it’s slight appearence does not in anyway diminish it’s power.
This story begs the question, do we ever really present a truthful representation of ourselves to the world? Or, do we settle upon a version of ones personality, be it accurate or not. Memories can play cruel tricks upon ones mind – a group of friends will quite often have completely conflicting memories of incidents from their shared past. The end of a relationship or friendship will be seen from two opposite points of view.
It it only as one gets older that we are sometimes forced to confront our perceptions, and re-evaluate past events – in the process perhaps reaching a conclusion that we would rather not have reached at the time.
Life will often throw up unwanted and sometimes unexpected surprises – this novel captures a mans attempts to cope with this, in the process accepting what he was always too blind to see.
A very moving and thought provoking novel….