The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells Sceptre March 8th 2018
Told through the fractured lives of siblings, The End of Loneliness is a heartfelt, enriching novel about loss and loneliness, family and love.
Jules, Liz and Marty are alone, living in a boarding school, their parents killed in a car accident. Each deals with the death in their own way. Liz, rebels spiraling into drugs and alcohol and unable to maintain any kind of relationship. Marty retreats into the newly discovered world of the internet setting up his own company before selling and enjoying an opulent lifestyle with his wife Ellen.
Jules, is the youngest, the one who finds himself adrift unsure of where his talents lie. It is his school friendship with Alva that shapes much of his adult life. Over the years they rarely stay in touch until a meeting in Munich results in Jules leaving his job and moving to Switzerland to live with Alva and her husband. As Alva’s older husband’s health deteriorates the love that has always bubbled just below the surface encompasses Jules and Alva with consequences neither could ever have imagined.
The novel is a story of how we deal with loneliness, what it means to be lonely and how it can affect the course of our life, and what happens when we accept ourselves for who we are. It also illustrates the power of family and the strong ties that bind and support during troubled times.
The characters are brilliantly portrayed and Jules, the main protagonist, will take the reader through a whole range of emotions from sheer joy,and frustration to deep despair.
The relationship between Jules and Alva is compelling and yes you can guess what is going to happen but the writing is so beautifully done that it doesn’t really matter.
Liz and Marty have good supporting roles and their own story did not feel out of place but merely added to the intensity of the novel.
If you are looking for a happy ever after then this this not the book for you, but with its wonderful well paced writing it is one to savour and enjoy.
All credit must be given to Charlotte Collins who has done an amazing job translating Benedict Wells’ stunning novel
About the author
Benedict Wells was born in 1984 in Munich. At the age of six, he started his journey through three Bavarian boarding schools. Upon graduating school in 2003, he moved to Berlin, where he decided against an academic education and instead started to dedicate his time to writing. In 2016 he won the European Prize for Literature for his third novel, The End of Loneliness, which has been in the German bestseller list for over a year. After years of living in Barcelona, Wells has recently returned to Berlin.