Book Review: The End Of Our Story by Meg Haston
ashley | I was absolutely floored by Meg Haston’s Paperweight when I read it two years ago. She had such a real, raw way of talking about something so serious that even though it wasn’t anything I had personally experienced, I felt like I could relate. When I saw that she had written another book, The End of Our Story, I didn’t even care what it was about, I just knew I had to read it.
Unfortunately, The End of Our Story didn’t grip me in the same way that I felt before, but it was still an emotional and moving book and it still had that real, raw voice that I loved about Haston’s previous work. This book dealt with loss in many different ways – of a loved one, of a relationship, of a father, of a childhood – and that eerie way that you can know someone completely inside and out without fully knowing them. There were secrets and betrayals and terrible tragedy, some of which I could see coming from the start, but there were a lot of feelings and questions that we likely ask ourselves in these similar situations.
I like the idea of second chances. Bridge and Wil were over from the very beginning and I was rooting for them to fix things the whole way. But what I really loved was how it wasn’t easy, how things had actually changed both in the situation and in the two people during the year they were apart. Though I did want to see the happy ending, I also didn’t mind if they didn’t reunite in the end, that kind of had a more real feel to it that seemed more fitting to the book – a focus on how time and people and circumstances change depending on decisions and actions.
There was something about Bridge that really bothered me though; she was pretty selfish. Not intentionally, she honestly thought she was doing some good, but she was in the middle of so many people’s personal business and making comments or doing something that would have a huge effect on said person, without ever really second guessing it. And the hard thing to watch was that she just didn’t get it. She just couldn’t understand that there’s a bigger, more complicated picture to everything. I almost felt sorry for her, actually, being that naive to think that everything is so easy to fix, as simple as pushing a letter through a mail slot or fondly remembering the dead. But the fact that I disagreed with so many of Bridgette’s actions and couldn’t understand how she couldn’t see what I so clearly could see from the start made me feel very disconnected from her and from the book.
I appreciated what this book was trying to do, I appreciated family secrets and things looking more normal than they actually were. I think everyone can relate to that on some level or another. But sadly, this book just didn’t cut as deep as I was hoping for. I didn’t connect well to the characters and I feel like the story lacked any emotive expressions. There were conversations about heavy topics, but we never really had a chance to explore how this made the characters feel, other than a passing comment about how it felt like hell.
I kind of wanted that extra insight, especially since each chapter changed points of view, it was a great opportunity to get inside everyone’s head, but that never happened. I’m also not sure I agreed with the overall actions that made this book, but I did really like how it ended. I think it created an opportunity to discuss and analyze the possible outcomes, as opposed to shoving something down your throat.
april 4, 2017