Tony Webster is well into the last half of his life when an odd legacy left to him by someone from his past triggers him to trying to remember details of his life as a young man. There is much in this book emphasizing the vagaries of memory: "History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation." Tony and his faulty memories begin to slowly unravel the mystery surrounding the strange bequeathal and along the way he reveals to himself and the reader some truths about his life.
This was an engrossing if sometimes uncomfortable read for me. Tony Webster's "uncomfortable truths" about himself are pretty familiar and it is not an easy thing to read about. Despite the fact that a feeling of contempt about Tony is invoked I did feel sympathy for him and therefore was invested in his story. This was different then the previous novel I'd read by Barnes Arthur and George which I felt had a distinct distance from his principal characters. This story was intensely personal.
I was most impressed with the style. I think I read this book at just the right time having just finished a book by another amazing British writer The Children's Book. I loved this book but it was a long sprawling, rambling book which seemed to sometimes have more tangent than plot. As a result, I was completely fascinated by the brevity and succinctness of The Sense of an Ending. Each paragraph, each sentence adds to the whole - it's truly impressive.
Overall, I would highly recommend.