last page first

So who would ‘fess up and admit they read the last page of a book first to see what is going to happen. I can put my hand over my heart and say it is not something I do — mind you, my Mum used to. I am pleased it’s not one of my habits as I have just finished a very good book and “peaking” would have spoiled the ending.

Sara Donati’s The Endless Forest, is the sixth novel in her ‘Into the Wilderness’ historical series. Usually an author will leave you hanging at the end of the story, deliberately withholding one small vital piece of information that you need to complete the story. Much like finishing a jigsaw and finding one piece missing.

But not so this time. Instead of the usual three page epilogue, Donati wrapped up 16 years into 10 pages. You see Paradise, (you’ll understand the significance if you have read the series) finally got a printing press in late 1827 and Elizabeth became the editor. So the epilogue was a selection of newspaper articles and notices that mentioned someone in the Bonner family. Not the usual way one would end a book but it was very effective and very clever.

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6 Responses to last page first

  1. mbcoudal says:

    Great post. I have only once or twice in my life peeked at a book’s ending. I usually don’t like when books to end, so I try not to rush the ending! http://gettingmyessayspublished.wordpress.com/

  2. kiwiflossnz says:

    thanks mbcoudal. I agree, it is usually with a sense of sadness when I see the pages left to read getting less and less.

  3. I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say that I don’t read the last page first. In fact, it really irks me when I give my own work to other people to read, and they read the last page first. So much so, that in the past I have given people sections of the manuscript just so they can’t do that. I won’t have that choice once the work is published though.

  4. rashmikamath says:

    i have never peeked. but unfortunately, most of the time i will have a friend who is reading the same book and will peek and tell me. 😦

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