It Ends With Us
by Colleen Hoover
I’m going to start by saying that if you have not read this book, definitely go out and read it before reading my post . . . I can’t talk about this book without spoiling it, and it is so important that you know nothing about it before you read. It is definitely different from Hoover’s other works, but it is both moving and beautiful, and a must read.
It Ends With Us is hauntingly beautiful and deeply moving. I cried through over half of it. I am especially affected by how there is no black and white in the story and in Lily’s character’s choices, just endless grey. Hoover draws you in with her trademark writing and meet cute. From there she weaves a compelling story dealing with love and domestic violence. Lily is a 23 year old living in Boston, dreaming of owning her own flower shop. Her father has just died and she is relieved because he abused her mother. She meets Ryle, a neurosurgeon who is not interested in a relationship, even though there’s clearly a spark between them. Later, Lily is able to open up her shop and hires a young woman, Allysa to help her out. Before long, Lily learns that Allysa’s brother is Ryle and they start seeing each other more regularly. Because of this, Ryle lets down his guard and tries out a relationship because of Lily. They fall madly in love and get married. It’s then that things get progressively difficult for Lily. After an accident, Ryle strikes out and knocks Lily down. She is horrified, but he is apologetic and she agrees to give him another chance. Before long, it happens again and Lily warns Ryle that he needs to change or she will leave him. He is remorseful and agrees, but it happens a third time and Lily leaves. It’s only then that she discovers that she’s pregnant. She is torn because she is still deeply in love with Ryle and misses him when he is “himself.” But she is so afraid for her safety and for the well being of her child that she makes the excruciatingly difficult decision to divorce Ryle, but allow him to be involved in their daughter’s life. It is heartbreaking and I am still processing the story. On a side note, there is a sub plot involving Lily’s first love from high school. He was everything to her, but circumstances forced them a part. He comes back into her life at the same time that Ryle does and is able to help her when she decides to leave Ryle. He is also there waiting for her when she is settled and they are finally able to be together. I’m so happy that Lily gets a happy ending with everything awful that happened to her. The last two paragraphs before the epilogue sum up Lily’s choices and I’m going to quote them here because they were so insightful. Lily says to the reader, “Cycles exist because they are excruciating to break. It takes and astronomical amount of pain and courage to disrupt a familiar pattern. Sometimes it seems easier to just keep running in the same familiar circles, rather than facing the fear of jumping and possibly not landing on your feet. My mother went through it. I went through it. I’ll be damned if I allow my daughter to go through it. I kiss her on the forehead and make her a promise, ‘It stops here. With me and you. It ends with us.'”
Summing it up: While It Ends With Us was difficult to read and process, it was such a moving book that it was worth reading and I absolutely recommended it.
All the best, Abbey