Book Forty Four

Book Forty Four 2014: 

Levels Of Life by Julian Barnes


Do not bring this book on holiday with you as a light read. Both my wife and myself ended up crying after we’d finished.

She read it first, not knowing anything about the subject matter but having read a couple of his novels earlier in the year and liked them very much. I don’t think you should go into the experience so cold, so here goes.

On the surface of it, this seems to be and entertaining history of small parts of the history of ballooning. Seriously. It’s only when you get to part three that you realise the entire book is about the sudden death of Pat Kavanagh, Julian Barnes wife of almost 30 years in 2008.

I have never read such a deep, raw, human, *real* analysis of the nature of grief, loss and the nature of what life is really like for 2 people who are, as far as they are concerned, halves of the same whole and what happens when one of them is left without an echo to their words, thoughts and deeds.

If you love someone, *genuinely love someone, this will be hard going, but incredible.