Have you ever experienced this? You’re reading along, loving a book, absolutely positive that it is going to be a 4- or 5-star read. And then it ends. Only it doesn’t. Not really. The author has performed that clever little trick called the “ambiguous ending.” What happens next? Does the couple end up together? Is that really the murderer the detective is locking up? Will she ever get her life back? Your guess is as good as mine – and, to be honest, it really ticks me off!
I know that a lot of people consider ambiguous endings brave or true-to-life. They like deciding how the story ends. Not me. That is the author’s job, for heaven’s sake! I haven’t invested 300-some (or 400- or 500-some) pages in this story only to have to decide for myself how things turn out. An ambiguous ending can take what was a totally enthralling read and make me hurl the freaking book across the room. Honestly, I think I’d rather read a book with a terrible ending than an unclear one.
I wasn’t going to name any titles in this post, but I changed my mind. I now christen the following books “hurl-worthy:”
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Second Nature by Jacquelyn Mitchard
So, am I on my own on this one? Tell me why I’m wrong – or why you agree with me!