A Review: We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker

Welcome to my stop on the #BlogTour for the rather wonderful We begin at the end by Chris Whitaker.

Book Blurb:

‘You can’t save someone that doesn’t want to be saved . . .’

Thirty years ago, Vincent King became a killer.

Now, he’s been released from prison and is back in his hometown of Cape Haven, California. Not everyone is pleased to see him. Like Star Radley, his ex-girlfriend, and sister of the girl he killed.

Duchess Radley, Star’s thirteen-year-old daughter, is part-carer, part-protector to her younger brother, Robin – and to her deeply troubled mother. But in trying to protect Star, Duchess inadvertently sets off a chain of events that will have tragic consequences not only for her family, but also the whole town.

Murder, revenge, retribution.

How far can we run from the past when the past seems doomed to repeat itself?

Let me start by saying – I really enjoyed it!

I will admit to being slightly thrown at the beginning because it wasn’t what I was expecting… I think I was expecting a run of the mill crime drama – an entertaining read, a page turner, but not the beautifully written literary drama that unfolded. From the very first page, I knew it was something special and a book that I could easily see myself re-visiting again.

As an aspiring writer I often come across pages of prose that make me stop and re-read them, the words haven’t just served the story and characters well, but the words have stopped me in my track. And that happened time and time again while I was reading We begin at the end.

“They sat like that till stars leaned to first light, the moon forgot its place and held like a smear on a new day, a reminder of what had gone.”

The story was good, the plot read well and I didn’t guess the final twist that made me pause for a moment. But it was the characters that had me struggling to put the book down. Duchess, was still a child, but she was a 13 year old that had the world on her shoulders. She didn’t have a stable home life and she had a 6 year old brother and drunk mother to look after. Duchess was strong, confident and a fighter. She was an outlaw. She was an unhappy and emotionally stressed child. Her story was memorable.

And Walk, and Vincent and Star – All the characters are broken and emotionally damaged in their own ways. And as well as the characters Chris Whitaker also does a fantastic job at making the very American small-town setting stand out, I could picture it all. I almost feel like I need to read it again to pick up on everything, I’m sure it would be a great book club pick.

Details. For me, it was all the wonderful details that made it a great book. A stand-out book. A memorable read. And another book that makes me happy to be a reader. I can’t imagine my life without books like these that make me want to talk about them and share. Books are amazing and Chris Whitaker has created something very readable.

We begin at the end is an emotional, sad, dark, intense, and riveting read. I couldn’t put it down and I would be surprised if you could.

I will be buying and reading the rest of what Chris Whitaker has published as I eagerly await whatever he writes next.

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