Report on The Page Turners Meeting - Meeting, Thursday, 2 August 2018
- Led by Ellen Schofield
This book is about what we remember or perhaps what we forget. Although we rely on memories to make sense of our past and even our future, our recollections can be false. To be dramatic about this we can build our future lives on the premise of false memories. As did Tony Webster, the main character in this novella. He believes and accepts an ordinary life, despite having had opportunities that somehow passed him by.He was married and had a daughter but is later divorced and his daughter barely keeps in touch. He made no major strides in his university life, often living in the shadow of his friends. He had a girlfriend but it was a largely platonic arrangement, though her mother went on to have a significant role in the second part of the story. His girlfiend met one of his friends and another story started.
Tony spent his life with a false memory of things that had happened around him, blotting out things he didnt like and keeping himself safe from remorse. Until a letter arrives from a solicitor telling him of a diary that has been bequeathed to him starts a journey that unravels much of his map of his life and world.
The second part introduces guilt into Tony's world. Also a renewed energy to recover the diary and discover his own responibilities.
Julian Barnes writing lets the story unfold in its own time. Nothing is rushed and no clues appear until near the end of the book. The phrase "efficiently written" was a summary made by one of the group. We were absorbed by the story.
Liked by all members of our group - thus a score of 7.75
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- Report by Ellen Schofield