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Satisfyingly Ever After

I’ve always been a sucker for a happy ending.  I want the guy to get the girl. I root for the underdog. I long for the rags to become riches.

Lately though I’ve become bored by stories that neatly tie up every loose end.  It feels like lazy writing.  It smacks of cliché.  Worst of all, it’s predictable. I blame it on turning 40.  My body is falling apart, so why shouldn’t my literary preferences come crumbling down too, right?

The problem with “happily ever after” is that life doesn’t always work out that way.  Many people, including me, read to escape reality so there’s a very strong argument to be made in favour of the entertainment value of the Cinderella ending.  But is a happy ending a requirement for a great book?  Could an unhappy ending – one in which the guy doesn’t get the girl – be just as satisfying?

What do you think?  Vote for your preference below – and feel free to leave a note in the comments section!  I’ll post the results of the poll next week.

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Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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