Saturday, October 5, 2013

The End of the Affair - book review


My rating: 2/5

A man has an affair with a married woman, who then abruptly breaks it off for reasons unspecified. The woman's husband is worried about her, so the man, being a good friend, has her tailed by a private investigator. Her behavior patterns suggest a new lover, until the detective manages to steal the woman's diary, and suddenly all is revealed.

Then, a long dissertation about love, faith and God, and to shift the cards in faith's favor the woman accomplishes miracles from beyond the grave, thus qualifying herself for sainthood.

The novel reads as the sophisticated attempt of an intellectually powerful writer to convey a realistic image of God's presence among us, through flawed characters whose reattachment to faith become that much more convincing. But for it to work, the reader must be either already convinced or young/impressionable.

To me, the narrative rings false. The basic requirement I have of a story is that I can believe it happened, whether in my universe or some parallel one that resembles my own. In this case, I can't. Halfway through the novel I felt I was being lied to, that the story was being thrust forward on a proselytist agenda and not inspired by legitimate experience or fantasy.