The Only Story by Julian Barnes 254 pages

Paul, age nineteen, meets Susan, age forty-eight, when they are paired together for a tennis mixed doubles match.  Susan is married and has two daughters who are close to Paul in age.  Despite a number of differences, they fall in love and eventually move in together.  Although they encounter several set backs, they stay together for almost a decade.  Their love affair and its aftermath is described by Paul after Susan has died and he is a man in his sixties.  Throughout the narrative, Paul searches for a quote, phrase or idea that describes exactly what love is.

For those who want a fast paced plot, The Only Story is not for you.  However, I enjoyed Barnes’s story, his characters and his digressions about love, memory and honesty.

 

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The Only Story by Julian Barnes 254 pages

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