Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The End

by Suzanne
Here in the Lair, we often talk about the beginning of books and movies. How they grab us and suck us in, keep us turning pages or on the edges of our seats, wanting to know what's going to happen next.

The Bourne Identity was one of these books for me. I couldn't read it fast enough. It also sucked me into Robert Ludlum's world of espionage and suspense. After reading the Bourne Identity, I raided my local bookstore and read his whole back list and following books, each one more page-turning than the last. (I also discovered for my own sanity, it was best to not read more than two of his books in a weekend or I'd think my phone was tapped and people were chasing me!) While the movie was barely recognizable as the original book, Matt Damon's portrayal of Jason Bourne fit my mental image of how the character would look and act.

Another book where the beginning drew me in from page one was Sherrilyn Kenyon's Night Pleasures. It might surprise y'all, but I'm not really into vampire love stories. What grabbed me was the heroine in peril waking up to find herself chained to this big imposing man, who acts like a vampire, you know all I'll-die-if-I'm-out-in-the-sun, has fangs and appears to be imortal, but he wasn't a vampire. Instead he was a hunter, a Dark Hunter, one she'll need to keep her safe. Add to that Kenyon's unique premise that vampires were actually cursed children of the Greek god, Apollo and I was hooked! Involving the Greek mythology and really BIG men, yep, couldn't turn the pages fast enough!

For movies, Speed, was the same for me. Suck me in, make want to know what's happening to these courageous bomb experts. Who wants to blow them up, etc. Add a ticking clock er bus and Sandra Bullock? Yep, I'm staying through to the end. Another movie for me was Pirates of the Carribean. How could you not love a movie with that kind of fantasy beginning of pirates and Black Jack Sparrow? It made you root for the characters from the start all the way to the end. (ah, but we're not at the end yet!)

Sometimes, in the Lair, we talk about the characters, themselves. Those we loved from the moment they stepped onto the pages or onto the big screen. Those that make us wish we were the heroine or hero, falling in love, kicking butt, or solving the mystery. Okay, in the lair we mostly talk about the sexy heroes, but let me give you some of my favorites of both sexes.

Kate and Luc from French Kiss are two of my favorite movie characters. At the beginning of the movie there's the neurotic romantic who despite her fear of flying bravely climbs aboard a plane bound across the Atlantic to get her true love. Except, we find out her true love is nothing but a soundrel, while the scoundrel, Luc--good hearted jewel thief who wants to buy a vinyeard near his home, seated next to her, irritating the snot out of her all the way to France, well, I'd hate to give away the ending, so let's just say he's hero worthy.

Rhett and Scarlet. From her first utterance of fiddle-dee-dee, she didn't come across as a kind, loving heroine. No, she wasn't loveable, but she was strong. Her world and family was changing, and only the strong were going to survive. THAT is what he loved about her. And him? Was he a Southern gentleman? Uh, no. A Privateer. A man who would make a profit from the war, eventually takes a side and joins the war, but his love of her made him loveable. (We'll talk about their ending later.)

Gabriel and Johanna from Julie Garwood's Saving Grace (yeah, like y'all didn't see this one coming). If you haven't taken the time in the past 3 years to read this book, as much as I've raved about it, I'm about to spoil the beginning for you. The heroine is informed her husband has been killed and she rushes to the chapel.

Not to pray for his soul, but to thank God. Now, don't you want to know more?

The hero is a bastard, literally. His father and his clan disowned him, until the time came for someone to lead the father's clan after his death. In the meantime, the hero has formed his own clan with ragtag outcasts from other clans. So what's he supposed to do? He tried to lead both clans side by side, because that's what an honorable man does. Then an Englishman brings his half sister for the hero to marry, to keep her out of the reach of the king of England. He marries her without question. She agrees to the marriage only after she hears his name, Gabriel, the patron saint and protector of women and children.

Sigh...You really have to read this book!

So, what haven't we talked about when it comes to books?

Yep, the beginning may hook you or your reader or your editor, but it's the ending that sells the next book. At least that's a saying heard often repeated from one RWA member to another.

We all know the ending of Gone With The Wind. Rhett storms out, swearing, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Scarlett watches him disappear into the mist and says, "Tara! Home. I'll go home. And I'll think of some way to get him back. After all... tomorrow is another day." It may not be the HEA we all wanted, but the prospect of a future is there in her determination and I'd like to think she finally learned what love truly is about and will win back her man.

In French Kiss, Kate has saved Luc's bacon and is once again aboard a plane to fly home. Luc has learned how she tricked him, but knows she did it out of love. He slips into the seat next to her and says, "I want you..." She says, "You want me?" and he says, with love and unshed tears in his eyes, "I want you, that is all." Sigh. That is a HEA I could go for every time.

In the end of the first Pirates movie, Elizabeth and Will are in love and they take the chance to rescue their friend, Black Jack Sparrow. He's a loveable scoundrel and we really don't want to see him die. We also want to see more of his antics on the high seas!
At the end of the Bourne Identity, (the book version), Jason learns the truth about who he is and how he came to be a trained assassin. He cleans out Treadstone's bad members and gets the girl. And it made every page turning scene worthwhile.

I want endings that make me sigh. Make me know my journey with the characters has been worth my effort. I want the mystery solved, the bad guys dead or in prison, the HEA for my heros and heroines, or at least the promise of a HEA.

So, endings are important. They are so important to me, I even write THE END when I finish a book. Another writer acquaintance asked me why? I said, why not? It's an accomplishment. The story has been told, it may need tweaking or editing, but the ending has been written.

And a few weeks ago I posted the last chapter of REFUGE on my online blogsite, Everytime I've read it, I get tears in my eyes and that sense of Ahhhhhhhhh. I hope my readers did, too. If you haven't read it, take a chance, but go to the sidebar and start at the beginning. I'd love to hear if the HEA worked for you!

So, tell me, what books or movies gave you that Ahhhhhhhh moment? Which ones made you cry or laugh? Which ones did you hate?


limecello said...


limecello said...

[On a side note, well at least I won't be alone @ RT tomorrow since the GR is with me...]
Ok - well Scarlet and Rhett get together. The end. Heh. I firmly believe that. I have to.
Movies that have fantastic endings? Well I don't love Drew Barrymore but I did like the end of Ever After. Augh. There are some books that also make me want to flop over and bask in the utter wonderfulness of them. Lisa Kleypas and SEP come to mind as great authors for that, but I'm blanking on specifics.

PinkPeony said...

Hi Suzanne:

I've read Saving Grace and most of Garwood's books but I'm having a serious memory lapse. I can't remember anything about the book. I'm a sap for a "good" romantic comedy. You've Got the last scene and of course, Bridget Jones' Diary. Well, Colin Firth might've swayed my decision. I love the movie, Roman Holiday, but I've always wished that the Gregory Peck character ended up with the princess, Audrey Hepburn. That's always bothered me!

Congrats on the GR, Lime. Have fun at RT.

Jane said...

Hi Suzanne,
I love "Saving Grace." I love the part where she tells Gabriel that she's not timid. I love the ending of "The Usual Suspects." It was a great surprise ending and I was shocked to find out who the villain really was.

Congrats, Lime.

Kim in Hawaii said...

Mahal for sending the Golden Rooster and Cabana Boys for a quick trip to Hawaii. A brief report about the GR's and CB's quick quick trip to Hawaii.

After touring the historic sites at Pearl Harbor, I sent Cabana Boys out to Ko'Olina where the Black Pearl (from Disney's Pirates movies) is docked for summer filming. The director spotted them climbing the fence and offered them parts in the movie.

I took the Golden Rooster to the Nu'uanu Overlook, where King Kamehameha literally pushed the Maui forces off the cliff in his bid to unite the Hawaiian Islands. GR enjoyed "fowl" talk with the native roosters that run wild in the mountains.

Speaking of roosters at RT, Kathryn Falk once brought a chicken to the convention over a decade ago. For more info, check out the story at:,9171,989798-3,00.html

No doubt the Golden Rooster will have fun with Limecello on the dance floor!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I loved all of them except.........Sommersby. I hated that movie in the end. I ranted for days that they would do that to a person expecting a HEA. Other than that I have pretty much loved them all.

Wow Kim, you know how to show a rooster (and cabana boys) a good time. So how long will they be shooting?

Laurie said...

Gladiator when Max kills the Emperor, also dies and his soul travels to meet his wife and son's souls.

Braveheart when William Wallace yells FREEDOM and dies and his soul travels to his dead wife's soul.

Pretty Woman when Vivienne turns Richard's life upside down and saves him in the end. The fire escape scene at the end of the movie "and she rescues him right back!"

Armageddon when Grace's Dad stays behind (in place of her boyfriend) and says goodbye to her on the monitor screen at NASA. They touch hands and Aerosmith sings in the background I Don't Want To Miss a Thing.

Rent when MiMi awakens from the dead in Roger's arms while he sings Your Eyes.

I also like all of the movies and books that you mentioned.

Helen said...

Congrats lime have fun with him at RT


Firstly I have to say I loved Refuge it is a fantastic story with a fantastic ending great story all the way through. Way to go Suz.

I too loved Saving Grace although it is a long time since I have read it I love all of Julie Garwood's books and she was a favourite of my Mums as well. GWTW is one of my all time favourite movies and yes I always think that Scarlett got back to Tara and got Rhett back. So many movies so many books and I have such a hard time remembering favourite parts in them to talk about I am getting old LOL.

Great post Suz

Have Fun

Suzanne Welsh said...

good morning! Congrats on snagging the GR, lime!

So you're at RT this week? I'm in Colmubus too, but unfortunately not at the conference. I'm visiting my parents this week.

Suzanne Welsh said...


I like to think that Scarlet gets Rhett in the end, too.

And both SEP and Lisa Kleypas always give me that big sigh with the HEA that I so want at the end of a book.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Pink!

One of my favorite parts of Saving Grace is when she's trying to teach the clan's men some manners. She says, "There's always more than one way into a castle." When she is in peril at the end of the movie, then rescued, one of the men repeats that to her, when she asks how they got inside to resue her. Trust me when I say they'd been talking about two different things all along. hehehe

Suzanne Welsh said...

hey Jane!

I liked the Usual suspects, too! That was an ending I'd never seen coming.

Also, did you see Gosford Park? Besides having Clive Owens as the sexy guy, the ending to that was a bit of twist, too.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey, Kim!

Sounds like you kept the GR and cabanna boys busy yesterday! I'll be watching for the boys to appear in the crew of the next Pirate movie!

Speaking of which, how did you like the ending to the last one?

Suzanne Welsh said...

hey Dianna!

I hated the ending, too. So wanted them to have a HEA. Except, the way the story went, if he lived, she wouldn't have...or at least not for a while. hmmm

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Laurie!

I like all those endings, too!

How about LOTR when Aragorn is crowned King, we see that the blonde girl who was in love with him is going to end up with the blond guy and then the elf girl who was Aragorn's long love is alive. AHhhhh

Susan Sey said...

Oh, Suz, French Kiss. I love that movie.

("Bub. You know, like Bub DeeeLahn?" "Oh, Bob." "Oui. (imitating her) Baaaaaaahb.")


As for characters that stay with me? I adore Julie Garwood's Ransom, though I can't right now remember the heroine's name. The hero (who can forget a giant man in a kilt?) was Broderick. And there was a pair of secondary characters (his name was Ramsey, she was apparently more forgettable) I found utterly charming.

As for endings? GWTW just kills me. I always want to grab Scarlett O'Hara by her stupid shiny head & roar, "IDIOT!" as Rhett's walking away. "GO GET HIM!"

Who's with me?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Helen!

Thanks for the kudos on REFUGE. About half way through that book I could seen the ending so clearly. I'm glad it turned out as nice as it did!

LOL on the getting old and not remembering. I probably remember Saving Grace's ending so well because I've read the book like 28 times!

Suzanne Welsh said...

hehehe, Susan.

How about Kate squinting her eyes and pretending to smoke a cigarette saying, "You make my ass twitch" in a thick french accent? hehehe

As for Scarlet, I'd love to do that, but I'll bet she had one more scheme left in her to get him to come back to her!

MsHellion said...

I *LOVE* Saving Grace; have from the first I read it when it was first published! Isn't this the book where she cuts up the two plaids (from the two clans) because she can't remember what days to wear which plaid?

Movie I hated the ending: Sommersby. OMG, was I pissed off with that ending!

Movie with the best kiss: POTC: At World's End. I love that kiss! (That's an AHHHHHhhhh moment for me.)

Best Ahhhhh Moment: I love that moment in Singing in the Rain where Gene Kelly sings: You Were Meant for Me. *sighs*

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Ms. Hellion!

You're right. Johanna does sew the two plaids together. Her idosincricies did more to unite those two clans than all of Gabriel's orders for them to get along ever did!

In POTC: World's End and she's holding his heart in the box, you just knew she'd take excellent care of it, didn't you?

Nancy said...

Suz, I also write "The End" when I get there. The manuscript doesn't feel done to me without those words. Also, I suspect it's like the journalist's "30," a signal that this is all there is.

The ending should feel like the ending, have a payoff, as you note, but I want the words there.

I've heard that Mickey Spillane said something like "The first page sells this book; the last page sells the next one."

Limecello, congrats on the rooster.

Nancy said...

PinkPeony, I also wish Gregory Peck had ended up with Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.

I think that's the movie he was on his way to shoot, though, when he stopped in Paris and met his future wife. So the man got an HEA even if the character didn't.

Nancy said...

Dianna, I will never watch Sommersby again because of that ending. Nope. No, thanks. Not into that "tragic death in place of HEA" thing. Ditto Moulin Rouge.

I read that the original ending to Australia had the hero die. Thank freakin' goodness they changed it! I would never watch it again if they hadn't.

I've heard that blockbusters come from repeat business. The reason Star Wars made George Lucas rich was not that we geeks all went to see it but that we all went multiple times!

Nancy said...

Kim, looks like you gave the GR an educational trip. I'm glad he cooperated. The cabana boys are strutting around here like roosters, preening over the movie offer. Sounds as though everyone had a great time.

PJ said...

Great blog, Suzanne! You know I have to mention Saving Grace. Like you, it's my all-time favorite comfort read. In fact, I've read the things so many times I could probably recite the dialogue in my sleep. lol There are so many terrific "aaahhh" moments in that book.

I'm off for my volunteer day at the hospital. Will pop back in later.

Nancy said...

Suz, on the actual merits of your question--the ending to Pride and Prejudice is a great payoff. The ending to the first Bourne movie also is, though I hate that Marie doesn't make it through the series.

I read a lot of series, and you don't get quite the same kind of payoff in a series with a continuing arc because the big, big problem goes on until the end of the last book--theoretically.

I was really into the late Gordon R. Dickson's Childe cycle, which he died before finishing. In The Final Encyclopedia, the next-to-last book he wrote, if I'm remembering right, hero Hal Mayne is waiting for Bleys Ahrens to attack and bring on the climactic battle of the series. I'm very vexed because Dickson detoured to write a book about Bleys (like I care--really, I don't go to movies or read books to spend huge chunks of time in the head of the villain, explore the psyche of Darth Vader of the Joker or any such other character, and if the villain needs to be rounded out, it should be done along the way, imho, instead of giving him his own book or series, and I'll stop ranting now), when he could've been writing that last battle from Hal's perspective AND Bleys's.

Dickson's Dorsai series, which led into the Childe cycle, is ground-breaking military science fiction, btw, harder to find now that he's been gone for so long. Judging by Amazon's prices, even the "new" copies are not publisher-issued. The first volume is simply called Dorsai.

Nancy said...

Suz, I did see Gosford Park, and it was quite a twist. Another Clive movie, Duplicity, also has a great twist at the end.

Nancy said...

PJ, I hope the hospital goes well. I saw your comment to me yesterday, but not until late last night. Thanks so much.

jo robertson said...

Great post, Suzanne! There are so many books that've hooked me from the very beginning. I don't really need to be hooked so much as intrigued enough to read more. I usually prefer a long, slow read to a galloping one because I like to savor the HOW as much as the WHAT (how the writer did what she did as much as what happens).

I just finished a YA by Daniel Waters called GENERATION DEAD. The first line is "Phoebe and her friends held their breath as the dead girl in the plaid skirt walked past their table in the lunchroom."

Now how could I put that one down?

Virginia said...

Congrats lime on the rooster!

Movies that made me cry was Gone with The Wind, I still in my mind think that Scarlett and Rhett got together and had HEA. Love story was another one and there are more just can't think of them right now. Just watched The Blind Side and had an aaahh moment!

Christie Craig books make me laugh out loud and Mary Connealy is pretty good to. This just names a few!

Anna Sugden said...

Great post, Suz - love great endings. And, they have to be happy, or at least optimistic! Much as I loved Alain Delon, give the man a HEA for crying out loud!

I love Tombstone, as you all know *g*, and that has to be the best ending. I sigh with happiness every time Kurt Russell says 'and then we'll order room service'.

Also loved Bridget Jones, Pretty Woman, You've Got Mail and Charade.

Love, Actually has a fab ending in terms of the titles (the airport scenes) and it always makes me cry - but I didn't like the endings to some of the stories (like the Alan Rickman/Emma Thompson one and the Laura Linney one with that sexy Rodrigo!)

Sliding Doors is one I'm in two minds about - sometimes I like the ending and sometimes I don't. Most of the time, I think it needs just a little more to make it optimistic enough for my liking.

Like the rest of you, Roman Holiday's ending isn't my fave. And, I hated The Bodyguard's ending.

When it comes to books, there is nothing worse than a rushed ending - and I've had a few of those lately - like the author reached her page count and that was that!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey PJ!

I knew you were another Saving Grace fan! ^5's! And I have one very worn out copy that I loan to people wanting to read JG for the first time, while my newer copy sits on my keeper shelf. And yes, there are so many ahhhhhhh moments in that book, especially when she learns his name and knows he'll protect her....always!

Anna Sugden said...

What a cool time was had by all, Kim - did you see Johnny Depp? Don't tell Tawny!

I remember the RT conference (Baton Rouge) where Katherine Falk had her father's chicken with her - I have a pic of her with it on her shoulder somewhere.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Nancy!

P&P did have a great ahhh moment. In both movie versions the men had that wonderful haunted look that said, "I might die if you reject me again" and then...she didn't. AHHH

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Jo!

That must be the writer in us. Recently I've been savoring JR Ward's books over a week instead of devouring them in a day. Following the different character arcs throughout and discovering WHERE she's going with them and the series has been as much a pleasure as the Hero/Heroine's story.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Virginia!

I LOVED The Blind Side. Throughout the movie you could see Sandra's character get quietly choked up over the smallest details and outraged at the bigger ones. I cried and laughed through that movie!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oh, yeah, and for once I totally agreed with the Oscar people. Sandra sooooooooooooooo deserved that award!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Anna!

My fellow Tombstone groupie. (How many times have you watched it?) The fact that Wyatt came for her and they danced in the snow....ahhhh

And I agree with you about rushed book endings. You've brought me along for a great ride, made me care about these two charcters, at least let me wallow in the HEA, please!!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

I am at my Mama's and since Mother's day is next weekend, I'm gonna head out with her to the bookstore and lunch...but I'll be back after Daddy's used his computer to check his stocks...(and nap at the computer, hehehe)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

GREAT post, Suz!

Thanx for the reminders of some fun openings and endings. :-)

I ALWAYS type THE END when I get to the last line of any story I'm writing. To me, those words signal closure, and I need that to move on to something new. Crazy, I know, since I usually have at least one (usually two or more) major rewrites/revisions ahead of me, but when I finish the first draft, I NEED those words. :-P

One of my favorite movies of all time is LadyHawke and I absolutely LOVE the ending. How the lovers manage to break the curse, kill the evil villain, and be together at last makes me tear up every darn time!

I also ADORE the ending of Rob Roy when he defeats the villain (my DH said, "Oh you KNEW he was gonna win." Um, NO, I didn't!) and returns home to his wife... I just SWOON! And when he is saying good-bye just before he goes to that last fight... I bawl like a baby when he tells her if the baby is a girl to name it Mary (her name) for his one true love. SNIFF! SNIFF!! Now SEE what you did, Suz?!?!

Okay, Kim, I am holding you personally responsible if the Cabana boys return from their movie roles fat and sassy! We may have to employ P226 to get them back in shape and adjust their attitudes.

off to limber up her crop in anticipation

jo robertson said...

Exactly, Suz! JR Ward's overall series is amazing when you think of all the world building and threads she had to pull together at the end of the Brotherhood series.

I haven't started Covet yet? Heard any buzz on that one?

I love that each of the Brotherhood gets his HEA even when it seems impossible in the books that aren't his story.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Suz! Great post! I love this topic. I'm of the mind that it's one thing to hook me in - btw Jo, you're right, great hook on that YA! - but a whole 'nother prospect to KEEP me reading till The End.

I'm also one that types The End at the end of a manuscript. Gotta do it. It's like tying the ribbon on the package. You may shift the ribbon around a bit, and fuss with the tag and so on, but ahhhhh, The End, just makes it.

Susan, just like in your FB post going to hug Sandra, I'll be right there with you to b-slap Scarlet O'Hara. Gives Southern Women a bad name, she does. Grrrr.

Anna, I'm also with YOU on the Sliding Doors bit. I just can't decide about that one - you're right, it just needs one extra puuuuuush of something to get it into satisfying, HEA territory.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said : Dianna, I will never watch Sommersby again because of that ending. Nope. No, thanks. Not into that "tragic death in place of HEA" thing. Ditto Moulin Rouge.

Grrrr on the tragic ending to a really great story. Nicholas Sparks specialized in this. I know, I know, don't get ME started on NS...or any of you either. Forget I mentioned it...really. Please.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

On The End, I mentioned this yesterday, but hey, I can repeat, right? Susan was talking about things that make you cry. The end of Sabrina (the new one) where Harrison Ford steps out of the shadows as Sabrina gets to Paris....ahhhhhh.

The end of all The Mummy movies. The end of Mercedes Lackey's Outstreched Shadow series.

Ahhhhh. Lurve 'em.

So many books I can't even begin to mention them. Some of which, like the one Ana C and I mention (probably ad nauseum), Countess Below Stairs, I go sometimes and just read the ending again. Sweeeet.

Suz, I'm with you on all the Bourne books and movies. I did the same thing with Ludlum's books. I confess I had to LOL about your comment on reading them back to back. I had the same reaction...wait, is that someone watching us?....

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Cindy!

I just watched Rob Roy again the other night, after quite a few years...and that scene about the baby...makes me bawl, too! And yes, it was good to see the bad guy get his commupance!

Suzanne Welsh said...


Covet is a different series and I heard from Jo Davis it was good, but haven't started my copy yet. Although, I talked myself out of Lover Mine today at the book store. I'll wait til I'm back in Texas to get my copy! It's John and Xhex story.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Jeanne! I'm a yes on Sabrina, too. She and he deserved that HEA, (and so did we as the viewers!).

And of course the Mummy movies, at least the first two had perfect endings for me!

While I loved the Sherlock Holmes movie, (saw it 4 times), I'm thinking there's room for at least one sequel and some HEA or Happy For Now endings to come!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz said: While I loved the Sherlock Holmes movie, (saw it 4 times), I'm thinking there's room for at least one sequel and some HEA or Happy For Now endings to come!

SO true! Same with Iron Man...grins.

Cassondra said...

Hey Suz!

Ah, yes, I will be singing my same old song here. Ain't She Sweet by SEP. Because...drum roll made me cry and STILL gave me a kick-ass HEA at the end. It was not the beginning of that book which grabbed me. It was the characters, and how deep into heartache she took them. Sugar Beth just turned him all the way inside out, upside down and sideways, and he was such a stuffy-seeming, holier-than-thou guy at the beginning--with REASON, but still--

I like Practical Magic for different reasons--yes, the good ending--that's a requirement. But I loved the beginning of that film. And you had to see the beginning for the film to make sense. I still get really emotional when Nicole Kidman is on the floor and Sandra B is trying to save her.

LOTR for its characters of course, and the bonds which formed between them.

I have not seen Bourne Identity (ducks flying fruit) and I have not read Saving Grace, but clearly I need to, based on this recommendation.

I really loved the ending of Fo's first two books in particular--In Claiming the Courtesan when the hero finally comes to his rock-bottom lowest and realizes what he's done--that may be one of the top three satisfying moments in books for me. I didn't think Anna could redeem that man, but she did it. And then when Verity steps off that boat and says what she says to that heart was in my throat.

And then in Untouched when Matthew and Grace meet after that year of separation....and they're both wondering what will happen...another one over the centerfield fence for me.

It's powerful moments like these that make a book a keeper for me--one I go back to over and over.

Cassondra said...

And I'll tell you that half-way endings? They are enough to very nearly turn me off of a series. If it's supposed to be an HEA, I want the whole thing...I want full character arc. I just do. If there should be groveling, I want groveling by golly. No half-way apologies are acceptable. No hints at growth will do. I want the black moment to be black and I want repercussions and deep soul changes. Yes, I am a b*tch that way. I just don't believe it otherwise. A great book can be left dangling for me if the ending is not powerul and equal to what has happened in the book.

Not that I think this is easy. I know better.

I admit that with a number of books I have come away feeling cheated in this. That's a testament to how hard it is to wrap an ending powerfully. But I want that. As a reader, I crave it. I find myself coming up to three-quarters of the way through the book and thinking, OMG, I hope the ending of this does not wimp out...

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Cassondra!

Well, if you haven't seen Bourne Identity, I have to confess that I haven't ever watched Practical Magic. I'll have to watch it and be sure to see that I watch from the beginning.

You're right that there seem to be more books that can't carry me through to the HEA, but the ones that do, they make me want more of the same, which probably explains the size of my TBR piles at home!!

Anna Campbell said...

Suz, sorry I'm so late. Had a sequence of disasters here this morning - all of which seem to be likely to cost me vast amounts of money and enormous stress. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! OK, deep breath, feel better now.

What a lovely post. And yeah, I was waiting for the Julie Garwood like I wait for the second shoe to drop! ;-) Congratulations on finishing Refuge. That's been such a rollercoaster of a read! Well done, you!

Endings are interesting, aren't they? I'm thinking about them at the moment as I'm trying to overhaul the ending of my current mip. It's OK but it's not THERE yet if you know what I mean. I want that AWWWW moment. There's a really gripping Anne Stuart called Night Fall that has one of the best endings I've ever read. It's really nonsentimental and quite tough (like the story) but you just melt when the hero comes back for the heroine! Actually Anne Stuart does lovely endings - one of my faves is the ending of a Rose at Midnight. It's an epilogue but one that gives you a mushy feeling in your tum and a big smile. That's what I want for my book and after a morning dealing with tradesman (unfortunately none of whom look like Hugh Jackman!), I'd better go and see if I can write it!

Nancy said...

AC, I love Ladyhawke, too! Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer are SO good in that, and that ending, when he thinks she's dead--way fabbo heart-wrenching cool!

Nancy said...

I know I said this when she was here the other day, but it bears repeating. I read the ending of Laura Anne Gilman's Blood From Stone, the last book in the Retrievers to date, the wrapup of a six-book arc, three times. It was a boffo finish and a fitting payoff, as gut-wrenching as the the trials the characters had endured to date but ultimately, in the denouement, satisfying.

Nancy said...

Cassondra, I've seen Practical Magic only in bits. It looks really good, though. I should rent it.