I’ve just finished reading one of my favourite author’s new manuscripts (to see the rest of her oeuvre see here). I loved it – which is not surprising. What is surprising is that there was a surprise ending. Nothing odd there you might say, but usually don’t you have at least an inkling that a surprise is coming even if you may not be able to guess what it will be? The fact that I didn’t expect the unexpected completely threw me – I know this author, I should have known there’d be an unforeseen ending. How had she managed to hoodwink me so?
On the other end of the spectrum I hate being unsurprised in a book: when you’ve worked out whodunit or expected a certain character’s return/demise/love affair. There’s a certain smugness at sniffing out the plot before it’s all revealed, but that gets snuffed out pretty quickly when you realise how painfully obvious the clues were pointing to the revelatory denouement.
Some of my favourite books with surprise endings include Atonement, The Thirteenth Tale, Sister, The Beach and Never Let Me Go (although to be honest the last one’s revelation took place fairly early on but was still a huge shock).
Any book endings that have caught you by surprise?
Lara Crisp, Editorial Manager