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The international bestseller, translated by the award-winning translator of The Tobacconist, Charlotte Collins
Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature
'Original and captivating . . . its quiet charm in straightforward prose belies its sharp insight into the human condition' Stylist
'It is impossible to look away from it' Guardian
'Dazzling' John Irving
I've known Death a long time but now Death knows me.
When their idyllic childhood is shattered by the sudden death of their parents, siblings Marty, Liz and Jules are sent to a bleak state boarding school. Once there, the orphans' lives change tracks: Marty throws himself into academic life; Liz is drawn to dark forms of escapism; and Jules transforms from a vivacious child to a withdrawn teenager.
The only one who can bring him out of his shell is his mysterious classmate Alva, who hides a dark past of her own, but despite their obvious love for one another, the two leave school on separate paths.
Years later, just as it seems that they can make amends for time wasted, the past catches up with them, and fate - or chance - will once again alter the course of a life.
Told through the fractured lives of the siblings, The End of Loneliness is a heartfelt, enriching novel about loss and loneliness, family and love.
'This novel has been rightfully described as something of a masterpiece. One thing is for sure - it is not easily forgotten' Sunday Post
'Beautifully rendered: moving and wise, occasionally timeless . . . when Wells most needs to be sophisticated, he is' Irish Times
'A superbly insightful story' BookRiot
Wells's satisfying first book to be translated into English hints at an answer to a struggle most people confront being, or feeling, alone but ultimately suggests there isn't one. The story is the account of three siblings: Jules Moreau, the narrator, and his older siblings Liz and Marty. The trio lose their parents in a car accident when Jules is 11, and all move from Munich to boarding school. They grow apart; Marty throws himself into his studies, and Liz falls in with a fast crowd. Jules retreats into himself, until he meets Alva, another child dealing with family troubles of her own. Alva and Jules are inseparable for years; but when their friendship hints at becoming romantic, Alva balks for reasons even she can't articulate, and they fall out of touch. Jules tells his story retrospectively, until his narration catches up to his present, in which he is drawn back into Alva's complicated life when she unexpectedly answers an email of his and invites him to visit her. Touching and timeless, the story is expertly and evocatively rendered, in prose both beautiful and sparse enough to cut clearly to the question at the novel's heart: how one copes with loss that isn't or doesn't have to be permanent.