Thursday, October 14, 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Rewrite

This week BTT asks: "If you could rewrite the ending of any book, which book would it be? And how would you change it?"

First, I want to say thanks to Deb for using one of my questions this week (thanks, Deb!). And second, I want to say what was I thinking???!!!

Seriously, it's not that it's such a terrible question; it's just that now I'll have to come up with an answer. And an answer that isn't too much of a spoiler, too! And after giving the question a lot of thought this morning, I have to admit I'm usually pretty satisfied with the endings of the books I read. Probably because I'm just not imaginative enough to think of anything else!

Of the books I've read lately, though, I can think of a couple that had endings that really disappointed. First, there was Penelope Fitzgerald's The Bookshop. It's about a widow in the 1950s who opens a bookshop in a small English village. It's very hard to say much more about the book without giving away too much, so I'll just say that while I know the ending was inevitable, I found it really maddening. (But the book is definitely worth a read, even with the frustrating ending.)

More recently, a book that had an ending I found really disappointing is Brunonia Barry's The Map of True Places. Actually, I was a little disappointed by the whole book, but I thought the ending was especially weak – as if Barry had run out of steam and just wanted to tie everything up neatly. I felt the (**spoiler alert!**) relatively happy and uplifting ending just didn't really fit with the rather dark tone of the rest of the book. I would have been happier with a few loose ends and a more realistic wrap-up. (I should probably say here that I read an ARC of the book – I suppose it's possible that the ending of the published version might be a bit different; I should take a look at the finished product and check that out.)

I do remember, as a girl, being very upset about the ending of Little Women – I was really hoping Jo and Laurie would get together, and when that (** spoiler alert!**) didn't happen I was very disappointed. But then, if they had married, Jo would never have met Professor Bhaer, and they never would have decided to start a school together, and Louisa May Alcott never would have written Little Men, which turned out to be an even better book than Little Women. There's probably a lesson in there somewhere about authors knowing what's best for their characters and their readers.

If I gave it a little more thought, I'd probably come up with many more examples. Probably way too many examples. So I'll let it go at three. And how about ya'll? Any disappointing endings you'd like to rearrange?


  1. Congrats on your question being asked! And what a great question it is too! I'm going to have to sit and think on this one though, before I answer...

  2. How great your question got used. I for one had no trouble with my answer.

    Little Women's ending was alright with me. If Jo and Laurie would have ended up together, the ending would have been predictable, even though it saddened me that they didn't, I liked the ending. I have never read Little Men, so now I need to add it to my TBR list.

  3. While I liked The Map of True Places, I agree that things wrapped up a little too neatly. I remember being mad at the ending of Little Women.

  4. I didn't answer because I couldn't without including spoilers.

    The Pact by Jodi P and Still Missing by Chevy S would be my choices.

    I have The Map of True Places on my Wishlist.

  5. I know there have been several books that I wanted to end differently, but I'm drawing a blank today.

  6. I do dislike endings that seem forced!

  7. I was good with the ending of Little Women...and I do agree that Little Men was a much better book.

    Here's mine:

  8. Great question Joy!
    I do feel the ending of The Bookshop ambivalent, but that doesn't upset me. My answer to your question, partly, is Bel Canto, absolutely disappointing ending.

  9. A great question! I read Little Women so long ago that I don't even remember the ending...I plan on reading it again eventually.

    As 'mattviews' said, Bel Canto is on my list as well...

  10. PS: I've tagged you. Visit here to see about it:


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