We Begin At The End by Chris Whittaker @WhittyAuthor @HenryHolt @MacmillanAudio #bookreview #bookblogger #fiction

Susanne’s Review:

My Cup Runneth Over and the Tears Spilled.

While reading this book, I was overcome with intense emotion and extraordinary heartbreak.

This is character-driven literary crime fiction about family, friendship, loss, and mystery that includes all of my favorite elements.  Dysfunction; grief, heartache; humanity; humor; love; loyalty, pain, regret, and unrelenting tragedy.

It’s a novel that is dripping with heart and that heart resides in the characters.  Characters that I love with all of my heart and then some. Characters who I’ve thought about every darn day since I turned the last page.

It’s the characters of Duchess, Robin, Walk, Hal, Dolly, and Martha who bring this book to life and made my heartache. 

Duchess Day Radley is a thirteen (13) year-old self-proclaimed “Outlaw.”  Tough as nails, she’ll do whatever she has to do to take care of herself and her five (5) year old brother Robin, seeing as her mom has never been all that reliable, much to Duchess’ chagrin. Unfortunately for Duchess, after trying just a little too hard to take care of her family, she finds herself in a world of trouble, the likes of which I can’t imagine.

The bonds shared between brother and sister here are absolutely soul-wrenching. As if the characters of Duchess and Robin were real, I too found myself in great distress when tragedy befell these two time and again.  If I could have scooped them up and taken them to safety, I would have.

“Walk” is Chief of Police. Though he checks in on the Radleys from time to time, he’s not a miracle worker and he has other fish to fry, including helping his former best friend, Vincent King rehabilitate after spending 30 years in prison.  Walk, of course, has his own troubles, none of which he can run away from.

The mystery here is devastating, heart-wrenching, and gripping.  Though there is tragedy here, there is also humor.  Surprising, shocking, brilliant humor. The writing is beautiful and is full of grace and grit.

In truth:  “We Begin At The End” by Chris Whittaker IS the BEST book I’ve read so far this year and I would be stunned if another book surpasses it. It will of course be at the top of my Goodreads best-of-list for 2021!

This is my first read by Chris Whittaker but it will most certainly not be my last.  I will be searching for and reading his entire backlist shortly. 

If this is not on your tbr, search it out!  I switched back and forth between the book and the audiobook and loved both.  George Newbern narrated the audiobook and his narration is phenomenal!

Thank you to NetGalley, and Henry Holt and Company for arc, and MacMillan Audio for the alc.

Published on Goodreads. Twitter and Insta on 2.10.21

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