I was in search of a story about male friendship and I seemed to have found one in Julian Barnes’ prize-winning novel The Sense of an Ending, but that was until Veronica showed up. After that friends became distant, then they drifted apart dramatically and I was stranded with Tony dealing with deceitful memories and trying to make sense of the past, in a rather laboured way I have to say.

But Julian Barnes’ prose is beautiful and at some point a diary is offered, a possibility to touch the mind of the lost friend, but it’s offered only to be denied immediately after, leaving me starved for male friendship and busy with an ugly mother-daughter conflict instead.


Anyway I researched the novel a bit and I discovered that the reception was mixed, despite the Man Booker prize. I tend to agree with the praise more than with the criticism, but I totally see the point of the latter. Also a lot of readers have an FAQ page about this book and I noticed that one of the questions that is constantly left unanswered is what does Sarah’s wave gesture mean.

she responded with a sort of horizontal gesture at waist level

I’m a bit puzzled because I’m familiar with that gesture, it’s quite common among my friends and family. I’m surprised people don’t recognize it and when asked to explain it they tend to connect it with gender and/or sex. But then again, I live in Italy and we gesture a lot.

Anyway this is my take. You wave that way in public when you want to show some degree of intimacy to someone, friend, relative, acquaintance, maybe you’ve had a nice one-to-one conversation, or you’ve bonded especially. It’s directed both to the person and to the others, who of course are watching you as you are in public. It’s like saying I’m giving you our special little wave, not the standard one. It’s meant to be cute actually.