Did You Like the Ending? #toptentuesday #LetsDiscuss2021

July 13, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Did You Like the Ending?

Did You Like the Ending? white text over a background stack of hardback books on a blue wooden table

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl. The prompt for today is “Book Titles That Ask Questions.” Hummmm…..I looked through my list and I’ve got nothing! Since I don’t enjoy creating posts with randomly chosen covers or titles, I’m SPINNING this topic into my own question: “Did You Like the Ending?” (Jumping off a previous discussion post: What is a Good Ending?)

I’m also taking this opportunity to link up with the 2021 Discussion Challenge, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

Do you love or loathe ambiguous endings?
Which books have you read that leave you wanting more?

I’m Ok with open-ended stories as long as the author leaves some breadcrumbs or inferences upon which I can draw my own conclusion. I loved ALL the following stories, but I wanted more from the endings in each case.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare (cover)

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare

I really need an epilogue for this story! (my best read of 2020) Did Adunni receive her education? Did she become a teacher? What influence did she have with her “louding voice?” Did she mentor other girls? This story could easily benefit from a followup.

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover)

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

I’m absolutely interested in a sequel that expressly deals with the father/son relationship. We are left with HOPE, but I need to see this play out! I read A Place For Us over three years ago and still think about the last part from the father’s perspective!

Little Fires Everywhere by Celest Ng (cover) Image: white lettering over an arial vew of a nice neighborhood

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Some readers and reviewers were frustrated with the open-ended conclusion for this story. In my opinion, the author dropped enough clues that I was able to cobble together an imaginary future for the characters. But I did have to reread the last few pages a couple of times to pick up all the inferences. This story could easily use a sequel.

Eleanor and Park

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

What are the THREE words is what I NEED to know! This story could easily use a sequel. I loved the story when I read it, but since then reviewers have pointed out several racist microaggressions in the content. I didn’t notice them at the time, but I certainly appreciate readers who have pointed them out. I’m sorry if the mention of this story offends anyone.

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Virginia Murray (cover) Image: a young woman in a long red dress stands along the banister of a set of grand stairs

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Murray

In this book, I was satisfied with the ending (especially with the extra information in the author’s notes), but I was left with questions about Belle’s family. Did the mother and siblings continue to live as white? Did everyone in the entire family keep the secret their entire lives? It seems that one slip in this “high stakes” plan would have affected every person in the family.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (cover) Image: an astronaut floats in space tethered to a gold and black object

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

(do not read if you haven’t read the book)

I need to know if Ryland returns to Earth. I think maybe he does….out of scientific curiosity perhaps (because it didn’t seem like he had that many relationships to return for). The ending was satisfactory, but this story could use an epilogue. (by the way….I definitely recommend the audio for this one!)

The Girl From the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat (cover) Image: a young woman stands next to a bicycle in a field overlooking a small village as airplanes fly overhead

The Girl From the Chanel Islands by Jenny Lecoat

Although the ending in this story is satisfactory from the perspective of the main character, Hedy, I really wish more had been told about Dorothea in the epilogue. A google search reveals that Dorothea was given a posthumous award from the state of Israel for helping Jews survive the Holocaust, but the epilogue doesn’t mention this. I think an epilogue including Dorothea would’ve been meaningful.

War that saved my life

The War I Finally Won

The War That Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Oh I love these stories and Ada! They are two of my favorite and most recommended Middle Grade stories. The endings are fabulous in each one; however, I really wish that Bradley had written a third book….perhaps a YA version of Ada. I need to know so much more about Ada’s future!

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (cover)

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Honestly, the ending of this story was a bit unsatisfactory for me. I was hoping for more reconciliation and a better future relationship between the sisters. However, I do realize that this is a realistic ending….many siblings are estranged and live separate lives.

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman (cover) Image: a woman stands on a sidewalk with her back to the camera, a valise and soccer ball at her feet

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

I was somewhat dissatisfied with the ending and didn’t agree with her decision. I wonder how this turned out for her?


Do you share any of my feelings about unsatisfactory endings or endings that need more?  What is your number one book that needs a different or better ending?

Related: What is a Good Ending


Summer’s ONE “Must Read” Book 2021

(a collaboration of 20 bloggers giving one recommendation each for your summer reading)

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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

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  1. I read a book recently which I had been enjoying right up to the end. I won’t mention the title in case others read it as I don’t want to spoil it. It is an older book so perhaps fewer people likely to pick it up now. It was about a woman moving on from a relationship, setting up in a new flat, in recovery from breast cancer and beginning a new life for herself. It was trundling along nicely, work going well, new dog companion, new relationship on the horizon when right in the last chapters she was called back to hospital as presumably her cancer had recurred. I found it very deflating a) that this happened although I realise it may be true to life and b) that we didn’t get to know the outcome.

    • Awwww! Deflating is the best word for this! And not to know what happened is a real bummer! Endings can make or break a read!

    • I think for the moment he was content…but I can see his curious mind contemplating it in the future! Thanks for leaving your link!

  2. Things to Do Before the End of the World was a recent read that left me unsatisfied with the ending. The book wasn’t exactly my cup of tea to start with and the ending was too abrupt and unresolved to suit me.

  3. In general, I prefer nicely tied up endings. I mean, not TOO nicely tied up – I want them to be realistic (ish), but I do like a nice, happy ending. I’ve read a couple of the books you mentioned, but it’s been so long that I can’t actually remember how they ended. LOL. My memory is no bueno these days!

    Happy TTT!


    • I agree with you about endings! After the investment of time, I like a satisfactory ending! Thanks for leaving your link.

  4. I recently read “Magpie Lane” by Lucy Atkins. This novel had what I would consider to be an ambiguous ending. In this case it was perfect for the story. Sometimes ambiguous is what is required…

  5. What a great twist Carol. I like to know what happens to the characters or as you say Carol, have enough information that I can surmise what I think will happen. I recently read a book that needed an epilogue badly and the author wrote one after hearing from her fans. I was able to read it as I am on her email list, but I’m not sure if everyone else did. I love how this has made me think about recent books I have read.

  6. I haven’t read these books yet so can’t comment on the ending. A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza is high on my list based upon your review. For me, endings don’t need to be tied up in a pretty bow. One book I remember like this is Gone With The Wind. I thought the ending was rather perfect. I absolutely hate books that end on a cliffhanger and it’s resolved in the next book in the series. It feels like cheating.

  7. Great collection of titles. I have read many books, and upon turning the last page, say, “That’s it? What happened next?” I agree with you about Adunni. Did she get to use her louding voice as she hoped? Did she help others girls find their louding voices?

    Here’s my post: https://readbakecreate.com/?p=483

  8. Several times I’ve asked author Hillary McKay to write a “grown-up” novel on the marriage of her Casson family’s parents. That would be wonderful–Bill, the artist off in London free as a bird, while poor Eve is stuck in a less expensive post code in the country with the children, painting pet portraits to help pay the bills locally while hubby does the art scene in London.

  9. I like to think that I enjoy closed endings, sad endings, but the open ones stick with me so much longer. Not a cliffhanger or a book that just ends, but one that presents the future with different directions

  10. I think the end can make it break the book. If it’s ambiguous, I often think it’s not a good ending!

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