Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The End of the Affair by Graham Greene

I absolutely love the writing of Graham Greene. I especially enjoy his Catholic novels. I was introduced to these deeply personal and rich novels in college when I had to read Brighton Rock for a lit class. I became obsessed with the idea of a novel getting away from you. The idea of Green trying to write a detective story that turned into a morality tale is an idea I still find fascinating. I read The Heart of the Matter and The End of the Affair on my own later that year and a few years later a friend let me borrow The Power and the Glory. Although these books are just too perfect, my favorite, by far, is The End of the Affair.

I have always been a sucker for a love story where one person in the relationship loves the other person so much that they can never be together; add to that mix some sort of love triangle in which there's an insipid husband or myopic lover and I am sold.

I think it is because of this book that I understand the fact that in order to truly hate someone or something you truly are feeling something (pain, anger et cetera) towards the very thing you are trying to forget, and, having feelings means there's still hope of reconcilation. Hate can turn into love just as easy as love can become hate. It's when there isn't any feeling at all that you've got to worry. The heart knows even when the mind doesn't really want to at all and when you read this novel you understand what happens between Sarah and Maurice way before Maurice does and you understand that Maurice's pain at never seeing Sarah again is because he loves her so much. You may not realize the fact that she loves him too until the very end, but you know that Maurice's is a mean, selfish man because he feels too much not because he feels nothing at all.

The End of the Affair not only has all of these traits, it also has a gorgeous movie (the version starring Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore). There is a scene, which starts on the couch and ends on some stairs, that is so sexy and romantic and tragic at the same time I hold my breath when I watch it. 

Watch the movie, read the book...learn a lesson or two about sacrifice and redemption, do


  1. Agree, agree, agree! Love Graham Greene. Need to re-read the book.

    1. i think i will reread it some time this year...not sure when maybe the summer :)



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