Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Ending

Thanks to Google Alerts, I stumbled upon a great blog by a mother and son who were both reading Dirty Little Secrets. At first they seemed to love it, but the last post was about how the son hated the ending. I mean hated. And I quote: "What a terrible ending!" I think I died a little inside. My heart was breaking and I wanted so badly to comment or email to explain, discuss, apologize. But I'm not going to. I have to let it go.

This blogger writes for VOYA which is big for librarians and teachers, plus I have a policy of not commenting on blogs or discussions about the book. I want readers to be free to be honest and say what they really think about the book and I think if authors comment, it feels a bit like we are looking over their e-shoulder. So I have to let it go, no matter how much it's paining me.

The ending of the book is going to cause a lot of discussion among readers I'm sure. The original ending was one of acceptance and understanding. Lucy finally understood a bit more about her mother and was able to forgive her for what they'd gone through. One of my "experts" (women who had grown up in hoarding situations) gently suggested (gently is a euphemism) the current ending. She insisted that someone who had grown up in a stage five hoarding situation wouldn't be able to come to terms with it that easily, if at all. The more I thought about it and the further I got into the book I saw that she was absolutely right. And thus was born the ending that Z absolutely hated.

I'm sorry if people hate it. I'm sorry if they feel betrayed. But I'm also absolutely sure that the story couldn't end any other way.

On this date: In 1971 Apollo 14 leaves for the moon.


Dani. said...

I'm sorry about that review:(

But my copy comes in 2 days, and IM SOOOO EXCITED! And I am a fan of more poetic endings rather than happy endings anyway so I hope I like the ending more:)

Kristi Faith said...

Ouch...that has to hurt :( I'm sure that will happen to all of us at one point. I was so glad to see that you stood behind your ending, though and BRAVO to you. :0) You handled it so well.


cynjay said...

Thanks for the great comments! It wasn't even that he didn't like the ending (I'm sure a lot of people won't) but that somehow I felt I"d let him down. Or rather, Lucy had.

Julie_c said...

Endings are sooooo difficult. But I honestly think there's a perfect ending for each person depending on who they are. I'm sure there are many who will love the ending.

I AM SO EXCITED TO READ THIS BOOK! I'm going out to look for it tomorrow.

But I do think you were correct not to comment for your exact reasons. I sorta made that mistake with WInk. Most of the time I just wanted to say thanks to people who read it, but then I did feel like I was probably stifling some honesty by being present.

cynjay said...

Ah Julie - you rock. I certainly hope so!

Indigo said...

I think I would of felt the same way to some degree. Then again I always tell myself not everyone is going to like or even get my writing. It's a lot harder to stick with the story and end it on the right note, than to give into pressure and expectations.

In the end I think you chose wisely. No one quite grasp their characters so intimately as the writer. (Hugs)Indigo