Title: The End of the Affair
Author: Graham Green
‘The End of the Affair’ is an excellent meditation on obsessive love. The protagonist, Maurice Bendrix, is a writer who is having an affair with his neighbour Sarah Miles. She is the wife of a civil servant, Bendrix was getting to know for a writing project.
Graham’s writing is contemplative and meditative. His book brings the reader into the midst of the pleasure and pain associated with obsessive love, and it transcends the subject matter into philosophizing about the subjects of belief and doubt. Bendrix, being a writer, is highly observant of himself and those around him, giving him a unique outlook on his circumstances.
The affair does not last long, and Bendrix is left with bitter memories. What pulls the story forward years later is Benedrix’s discovery of a journal containing Sarah’s thoughts. From here on, Maurice’s and Sarah’s conflicting viewpoints create tension between the two.
Maurice delves deep in thought, trying to make sense of perspectives different from his own. He seeks answers concerning the abrupt end of the affair he was having with Sarah. Maurice aims to understand the ambiguity and vagueness behind what lead to the end of the affair.
He begins a philosophical meditation on the formation of meaning for those that are around him and the development of the belief systems that encourages devotion towards a supreme figure, be it human or God.
Graham paints a vivid portrait of the psychological states of the protagonist as he tries to make sense of the unforeseen events that mould his mental state. The complexity of the characters makes the one wanting to side with them in one instance and leaves one wanting to distance themselves in another. This is one of the best books I have read on the human psyche surrounding obsessive love.
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0