The End of Loneliness
Benedict Wells, Charlotte Collins
‘An exquisitely wrought and utterly absorbing meditation upon life, loss and love’ Ian McEwan
Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature
‘Original and captivating . . . its quiet charm in straightforward prose belies its sharp insight into the human condition’ Stylist
I’ve known Death a long time but now Death knows me.
When their idyllic childhood is shattered by the sudden death of their parents, siblings Marty, Liz and Jules are sent to a bleak state boarding school. Once there, the orphans’ lives change tracks: Marty throws himself into academic life; Liz is drawn to dark forms of escapism; and Jules transforms from a vivacious child to a withdrawn teenager.
The only one who can bring him out of his shell is his mysterious classmate Alva, who hides a dark past of her own, but despite their obvious love for one another, the two leave school on separate paths.
Years later, just as it seems that they can make amends for time wasted, the past catches up with them, and fate – or chance – will once again alter the course of a life.
‘It is impossible to look away from it’ Guardian
‘Beautifully rendered: moving and wise, occasionally timeless . . . when Wells most needs to be sophisticated, he is’ Irish Times
‘Dazzling’ John Irving
It is impossible to look away from it * Guardian * What happens to Jules and Alva in the hands of Benedict Wells is dazzling storytelling . . . The End of Loneliness is both affecting and accomplished - and eternal -- John Irving Original and captivating . . . its quiet charm in straightforward prose belies its sharp insight into the human condition * Stylist * Beautifully rendered: moving and wise, occasionally timeless . . . when Wells most needs to be sophisticated, he is * Irish Times * This novel has been rightfully described as something of a masterpiece. One thing is for sure - it is not easily forgotten. Heartfelt and enriching * Sunday Post * With a surprising maturity . . . Benedict Wells has found a voice to describe, neither cruelly nor over-sensitively, human fragility, failure and ageing * Le Monde * A superbly insightful story * BookRiot * The writing is as luminous as the subject is dark * Elle France * Wells' style is less antic than that of his admired elder John Irving, but . . . the resemblances are strong . . . A tender, affecting novel * Kirkus * A love story and a life story, this rich and well-translated domestic drama acknowledges that some bonds are truly immutable in the face of, or perhaps because of, tragedy and that our memories and the stories we make of them, though they may change, are as real as anything. * Booklist * Touching and timeless, the story is expertly and evocatively rendered, in prose both beautiful and sparse enough to cut clearly to the question at the novel's heart: how one copes with loss that isn't-or doesn't have to be-permanent. * Publishers Weekly * A life-affirming work * Vogue *
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