Friday, 26 March 2021

Book review : The End is Where We Begin - Maria Goodin

The End Is Where We Begin must have been a very complicated book to write, as it completely lacks chronology. As you read it, you soon pick up on the structure of the book, but it threw me in the beginning as even within a chapter, paragraphs will jump about in time with no warning so it can be hard to keep track of the bigger picture. In fact, just like when you are piecing together a large, complicated puzzle, you will not get the whole picture until the very end, when you will look back at earlier events and realise how it all fits together. That said, I did soon fit into the narrative flow and really enjoyed it.

The book focuses on single father Jay Lewis, a man who is trying - and failing - to keep his life on track, with everything chugging happily along. Troubled by nightmares and flashbacks, he knows that he has to take account of events in his past that are throwing his life off kilter. If only it were that simple.

Just a few chapters in, the author mentions a tragic event that happened to Jay and his three best friends when he was just fifteen. The complete details are not revealed until the end of the book, but we understand that all the problems in his life stem from this event, as he just feels that he doesn't deserve to be happy in his life. Now aged 32, we follow his life up to this point and see the often unfortunate choices that he has made. He sets out to track down the figures from that fateful night - his ex girlfriend, his friends, ... - and to set things right.

It's an interesting story and is cleverly put together with a few surprises thrown in to keep you interested. I often smiled at Jay's parenting antics, probably recognising myself as a parent of teens ! The idea of looking back at past events that cause you pain and setting things right is heart-warming and I appreciated the fact that it was a male character (for once !) pondering on his life.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £8.99

  • Publisher : Legend Press (16 Mar. 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1789559456
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1789559453

Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book in order to share my honest opinion.


  1. Sounds a beauty - great review thanks

  2. Sounds like an intriguing book! I wonder what the mystery event was, which triggered the chain of bad choices.

  3. Yes, great to read a book with a male central character (I am just about to start on Eternity Leave). The lack of chronology would make it a less enjoyable read for me, though.


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