March 2024
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booking through thursday: endings

What are your favourite final sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its last sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the last line?

I’m not sure I like this question. I hate spoilers. Besides that, I have even more trouble remembering last lines than I have remembering first lines! Well, except for Gone with the Wind. That’s the only line that sticks in my mind (and I went in my book to check it anyway):

“After all, tomorrow is another day.”

I can’t remember any other sentences, and besides that, they might give the book away. Some of my favorite endings in general though:

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. The rest of the book was enjoyable, a bit boring for people who aren’t obsessed with Englishness and beautiful prose like I am, and then along came the ending, which he’d been subtly building up all along, and I fell totally in love with the book. Everything came together and the book just blew me out of the water.

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. It’s been a while since I read this one, but the ending moved me so much and is a big part of why this is one of my two favorite books. I’ve kept that mental image of Archer sitting on the bench since high school.

Feather Man by Rhyll McMaster. I read this one recently and it was the ambiguity of the ending that I loved, but also the fact that it was definitely an ending. The cycle came full circle, and while you’re never sure if it happened in a good or bad way, it’s just a brilliant way to end the book.

And for balance, some endings that I didn’t like:

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry – I haven’t reviewed this one yet, and I loved it up until the ending, but I’m left trying to reconcile the rest of the book with the “surprise” ending. I don’t think there was enough groundwork laid for it. There was some, but not enough for the reader to say, “OH!” instead of “WTF?”. If that makes sense. Feel free to disagree with me, I’m very interested in discussion on this one.

So Long at the Fair by Christina Schwarz. This ending just didn’t go anywhere and overall disappointed me, especially the last flashback. I didn’t get the point. Again, if you did, let me know! This was a case of bad ambiguity.

Have you read any of these books? What’s your opinion?


7 comments to booking through thursday: endings

  • I disagree about the ending of The Lace Reader because Barry establishes Towner as an unreliable narrator from the very first sentence…don’t want to give away anything to those who haven’t read it yet, but I loved that ending. I’ll be looking forward to your review.

  • There are some authors who write open endings that cause me to think them lazy!

  • I was disappointed with So Long at the Fair, too.

    The flashbacks in general were a little hard to follow, keep up with.

  • I have read any of those but I am not sure what kind of ending I like. Opening leave to many question and Happy ending can be to predictable.

  • I loved The Lace Reader, including the ending – but I can see your point about not enough groundwork. It was pretty abrupt. I also agree about So Long at the Fair. Frankly, I didn’t really see the point of the entire book – I think what the author really needed was a good editor who would have made her rewrite it a few times.

  • ‘So long at the fair’ is in my TBR pile but I’m honestly not looking forward to it. I haven’t heard anything good… plus one of my friends picked it up at the beach and gave up only a few pages in lol.

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