From internationally bestselling author Benedict Wells, a sweeping, heartbreaking novel of friendship, memory, and the lives we never get to live

"[D]azzling storytelling...The End of Loneliness is both affecting and accomplished -- and eternal."--John Irving

At eleven years old, Jules Moreau loses his parents in a tragic accident, and in an instant, his childhood is shattered. Leaving a comfortable home in Munich and holidays in the south of France far behind, he and his siblings, Marty and Liz, are enrolled in a bleak boarding school, where the trio begin to lose each other, as well as themselves. Marty throws himself into academic life; Liz is drawn to dark forms of escapism; and Jules, though once vivacious and fearless, turns inward, becoming a ghost of his former self...until he meets Alva. Shy, intelligent, and enigmatic, and concealing a dark childhood of her own, Alva pulls Jules out of his shell and the two bond over books and writing, always with an unspoken understanding of the other's pain. Eight years later, at the precipice of their friendship becoming more, Alva abruptly turns her back, and the two leave school on separate paths.

As they enter adulthood, Jules, Marty, and Liz, still strangers to one another, struggle to contend with who they are becoming. Jules is adrift, growing into a directionless young man, anchored only tenuously by two desires: to be a writer, and to have Alva back in his life. It isn't until Liz hits rock bottom that the three siblings finally find their footing as a family, and Jules finds the nerve to reach out to Alva -- fifteen years after they last spoke. Invited by Alva to join her and her husband, an esteemed author, at their home in Switzerland, Jules finds his way back to his own writing, and to his closest friend. As life begins to fall into place, just as it seems that they can make amends for time wasted, the past catches up with them, and fate -- or chance -- once again intervenes.

A kaleidoscopic and heartfelt family saga, as well as a deeply felt meditation on the power of memory, The End of Loneliness explores the invisible forces and currents that can change our lives in an instant, and asks us all to consider, If you spend all your life running in the wrong direction, could it be the right one after all?
 “A life-affirming work.”—Vogue

“Like John Boyne, Wally Lamb or John Irving, Benedict Wells has conjured a fictional world –at once epic and intimate, full of uncanny occurrences, inescapable fates, love lost and found and lost again— that quickly becomes more vivid to the reader than the real world that exists beyond its covers. Even a great book might not actually put an end to loneliness, but I can’t imagine a better salve for solitude than a novel like this, a book with the empathy, bravery, and vision to venture straight into the turbulent, vivid, interior landscapes of memory in order to reveal to us our own innermost selves.”—Stefan Merrill Block, author of Oliver Loving and The Story of Forgetting
 
“Touching and timeless, [The End of Loneliness] 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.”—Publishers Weekly

“A love story and a life story, this rich and well-translated domestic drama acknowledges that some bonds are truly immutable in the face of, or perhaps because of, tragedy and that our memories and the stories we make of them, though they may change, are as real as anything.”—Booklist, starred review

“A bittersweet, intricately plotted family saga. . . . A tender, affecting novel, one that packs a lot into a slender frame.”Kirkus Reviews

“A tear-jerker . . . it is impossible to look away from it, the unravelling, reforming lives of its characters.”The Guardian

“The trajectory of a long life, from childhood, through the adult disappointments, through parenthood: this is what novels do best. Our fate is everything we become; yet what happens to Jules and Alva, in the hands of Benedict Wells, is dazzling storytelling... The End of Loneliness is both affecting and accomplished — and eternal.”—John Irving, author of The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, and Avenue of Mysteries
 
“Original and captivating, it's high time this German author had more work translated in to English...[The End of Loneliness]'s quiet charm in straightforward prose belies its sharp insight into the human condition.”Stylist Magazine
 
“This novel has been rightfully described as something of a masterpiece. One thing is for sure — it is not easily forgotten. Heartfelt and enriching.”Sunday Post
 
“With a surprising maturity . . . Benedict Wells has found a voice to describe, neither cruelly nor over-sensitively, human fragility, failure and ageing.”Le Monde
 
“The writing is as luminous as the subject is dark.”Elle, Paris
 
“Sophisticated . . . [Jules'] projection into kinder realities offers the novel's most literary and most immediate, emotive pleasures.”The Irish Times
 
“A superbly insightful story.”—BookRiot