Friday, August 21, 2009
how it ends
true love reveals it all...
Laura Wiess talks about how she came about writing how it ends, and I think it describes perfectly the feelings that haunted me after turning the last page...
"How It Ends grew out of some haunting, unanswered questions and two completely separate, very distu
rbing images I've had tucked away in the back of my mind for years.
The unanswered questions were born as a result of several people who were dear to me passing away and me realizing -- after it was too late, of course -- that there were so many things I'd never asked them, stories only they knew that I should have taken the time to listen to and mostly, odd fragments of info discovered after their deaths that couldn't be resolved and will now always remain mysteries.
I started wondering about life stories, how each one of us has one that isn't apparent at first glance, what we tell the world about ourselves and what we deliberately tuck away and never reveal.
I also wanted to explore how love begins, and how it ends, and what comes of each experience. I think everything that happens to us both teaches us something about ourselves -- what we accept, what we reject, what we're willing to trade and what we're not -- and shapes us for what comes next. The imprints -- both good and bad -- that we leave on each other -- often without meaning to -- and how we go on to translate them fascinates me no end."
At the beginning of the story we meet a very young Hanna, whose parents asked the next door neighbor Helen to take care of her during those times that Hanna needed refuge from a home that wasn't a place for a little girl to be. Helen became Grandma Helen and a bond was formed when a small sad little girl asked if "she was going away too?" And Grandma Helen answered that she would never leave her and her & Grandpa Lon's house became her safe haven. A place for chocolate chip pancakes, and homemade carrot cake, walks in the woods, and honest talks about anything that came to mind.... it was wonderful to read the first chapter and see how the bond between Hanna and Grandma Helen was formed... but as time passed, and Hanna grew up a bit, she spent less and less time at Grandma Helen's. Hanna was a teenager, dealing with boys and partying, and her growing sexuality- all the things that a teenager thinks is important at the time. She wants Seth, but once she's finally got him, things aren't as perfect as she had thought they would be. He treats her terribly! She turns to the one person she always has had for advice and comfort, but Helen isn't that person anymore. She's terminally ill and unable to speak or interact. Hanna decides she'll fulfill her community service requirement by spending time with Helen (something that would never would have been a chore before, but Helen's illness is so upsetting to Hanna). They start to listen to an audiobook that Helen had out, and Hanna is drawn into the story of real love & passion. Something she had wondered if true love could really exist. The story is is about a love between two people who cling to each other for survival, and then because of a deep and satisfying love. Feelings awaken in Hanna... and then the story becomes "too real...."
Laura Wiess did a wonderful job of writing this story within a story. Each chapter is either Hanna or Helen "speaking" to us, and eventually the audiobook becomes it's own separate chapters. I like these "alternate" voice chapters because it gives us insights into the thoughts of each of the characters pertaining to a particular event. Laura Wiess also knows how to write about teenage angst! You can feel Hanna's pain as she grows up, matures and comes to realize things that only a mature young lady can see.
The book was wonderful and sad at the same time. It will make you reflect about the people in your life that you may pass by every day without a thought....
Laura Wiess is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Such a Pretty Girl, chosen as one of the ALA’s 2008 Best Books for Young Adults and 2008 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, and Leftovers. Originally from Milltown, New Jersey, she traded bumper-to-bumper traffic, excellent pizza, and summer days down the shore for scenic roads, bears, no pizza delivery, and the irresistible allure of an old stone house surrounded by forests in Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains Region. Learn more about Laura at from her author page at Simon & Schuster. And a big thank you to Sarah of Pocket Books for sharing the review copy of how it ends with me! Thanks Sarah it was a wonderful book!
P.S. This Book is Kindle Ready!
Check out some of the other blogs hosting Laura Wiess and the how it ends Blog Tour: