If you’ve ever tried your hand at writing then you’ll know that endings are notoriously hard. You have to walk the fine line between giving the reader enough but not too much, giving them what they want but not being predictable and you have to do this all whilst avoiding the dreaded anti-climax. But this post isn’t about the big endings which means of course it’s about the small ones. For me, the most satisfying last lines come at the end of the first chapter. It’s the line that can make or break a book, it’s the line that has the power to leave you grinning at yourself because you’ve just realised you’ve won the book lottery. It’s the line that can send excitement bubbling through your veins and it’s the line that can make it impossible to put a book down, no matter how sleep deprived you are.
Last night my self-appointed bed time was sucked into the new book I started at half eleven (never a good idea), chewed up and spat back out. It sat discarded on the floor knowing full well that I wouldn’t be getting to sleep any time soon. I still cannot help but smile when I remember the last line of the first chapter of Michelle Hodkin’s The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Which, if you think about it, is rather disturbing given that the last line reveals the death of two teenage girls.
I’m going to give you some context because the build up is often what makes the ending. Not to mention that I’m a generous person and when I win the book lottery I feel bound to share my winnings. You’ll have to give me a second whilst I back track my Kindle to the beginning of the book (I wasn’t kidding when I said my bedtime went out the window, I’m already over half way through.)
Right, here you go, the final lines to chapter one of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer:
‘Rachel relaxed, but I didn’t. For her sake, though, I tried to swallow my anger and unease as we settled in to watch the movie. Rachel popped in the DVD and blew out the candles.
Six months later, they were both dead.’
Well shit. If that doesn’t make you want to read more then I haven’t done the book justice. The only times I’ve put that book down today have been to talk to you lovely people and to make breakfast (reading is important, but so are pancakes).
Talking of last lines, I now need to think of one for this post. I’m afraid it won’t be as dramatic as Hodkin’s as I’m hoping that in six months, Sasha and I will both be very much alive.