A good ending really makes a book, doesn’t it? It has to strike that perfect balance of resolution but not tying loose ends too neatly. Or at least that’s what I prefer. Some people like their packages perfectly stitched up. But if you’ve ever seen a gift wrapped by me you know I like it all a bit messy and undone.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn had one of the more memorable endings I can remember. The ending was controversial but, in my opinion, perfect. I felt something, even if something was at times hate-adjacent. On the one hand it was, are you f’ing kidding me?? what a piece of sh*t!!! [throws book across room] Then, five minutes later, hmmm, actually, it was the perfect ending. fantastic read. [retrieves book]
Good endings are hard to find and even more difficult to create but they must, every last one of them, contain one element: a good story backing it up. You can’t have that knock out ending without the hundreds of pages before it. To care about the ending you have to care about the story.
I’m thinking a lot about endings today. It’s that time of year. Though no one in my family is graduating, my oldest is moving to the “upper school” and leaving baby sister behind. They are 2.5 years apart but not a day goes by when someone doesn’t say “oh! cute! twins!” They don’t even ask if they’re twins; they just assume. They are the same size. They act similarly. They play on the same sports teams. It is not unusual to get a note from the school (e.g. nurse’s office) with one girls name scratched out and the other one written in. Which is weird because only one of them frequents the nurse’s office. And by “frequent” I mean “visits multiple times a week.”
I snapped this picture of my “twins” walking up their school ramp for the last time together. Georgia (the little one; sparkly backpack, sparkly life) will be left behind as Paige moves up to the “big kids’ school.” Georgia was more teary than me this morning! It’s a very bittersweet ending but mostly because their story, so far, has been fantastic. I’m looking forward to the next book in this uber-compelling multi-part series.