07 February 2018
Long lost love
The only story is a love story, a personal history that brings together feelings and facts, the important and the trivial. The story is best told in hindsight, as it is in Julian Barnes’ new novel, in which Paul Roberts looks back over 50 years to his affair with an older married woman. It begins when Paul is 19 (“only nineteen”, his mother stresses), a student at Sussex University with long hair and purple jeans, living with his parents in the Village, a smug Surrey suburb of detached houses, church, pub, general store. At the local tennis club, playing mixed doubles, Paul falls in love with Susan Macleod, a woman in her late forties with a boorish golf-playing husband and two grumpy teenage daughters.
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