January 7, 2015 – Notes

 In attendance:  Liz Clarke, Janice Loschiavo, Lois Pagnozzi, Sharon Rome, Barbara Santillo, Tina Segali, Marilyn Sinisi.

Absent: Vivian Krone, Meta Pitrelli, Cathy Quinn, Donna Sabetta, Jeri Stangl, Joan Swensen.

Book & Author: The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene.

Though everyone swore they would eat only a lettuce leaf because of overdoing it during the holiday season, no one could resist Janice’s delicious spread. The discussion began without preliminaries.

Questions and Comments regarding The End of the Affair:

  • Janice voiced a question on everyone’s mind: Was Henry gay? Sharon suggested that, minimally, his relationship to Bendrix was peculiar. Barbara felt that nothing would have been acted on. Liz felt their relationship was more one of companionship than homosexuality. Lois made the point that they were bound by their love of Sarah. Barbara added the observation that, when two people love the same person, they are bound by that, especially if the person is dead.
  • When Liz asked whether Sarah loved Bendrix, Lois and Barbara both responded, “Absolutely.” Sharon noted that Bendrix was selfish. He wanted to have all of Sarah and couldn’t accept that she wouldn’t walk away from her marriage.
  • Sharon asked why Sarah married Henry. Responses included that he put no demands on her and that he likely offered stability, respectability, a genteel way of life. Marilyn felt they weren’t in love with each other, though they did love each other.
  • Tina commented that the characters were well-developed and memorable. In addition to the three principals, there were Smythe with the mark on his face; Parkis, the sentimental private investigator; his crafty son; and Sarah’s money-grubbing mother.
  • Did Sarah choose martyrdom? Did Greene use Sarah to demonstrate his own dilemma with God?
  • Greene’s expert use of flashbacks and time-shifting was noted.
  • The symbolism of onions was remarked on, as Greene peeled away layers of the plot.
  • Sarah tells Bendrix that you can keep loving people without seeing them as people love God without ever having seen him.
  • Was this a story of love or of hate? The priest tells Bendrix that he is a “good hater.”
  • A hearty discussion of faith and religion, sorrow and the randomness of the universe led to an abbreviated viewing of the film of the book starring Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore.
  • Barbara suggested additional reading of Greene for those who enjoyed this book: The Potting Shed, The Power and the Glory, The Quiet American, Brighton Rock.

 There were more desserts than one would expect at your local Greek diner and though all protested, much of it was eaten.

The book was awarded a 4.0 rating.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 4, 5:00 p.m., at Barbara’s house. The book chosen by Tina is The Plague, by Albert Camus. Tina distributed some information on the book, as well as favorite Camus quotes. They are attached and can also be found below.

February 4 at Barbara’s house.

March 4 at Lois’s house.

April 1 at Liz’s’ house.

May 6 at Tina’s house.

June 3 – probably back at Joan’s house.

Submitted by Tina Segali

January 10, 2015