This is one of the best books that I’ve read in my entire life. And I’ve read a lot of damn good books. This one is currently in the top ten of favorites. But this is a heavy book. This is one that will way on you for some time after finishing it.
What this story about is not what you might think when you read the title, it’s not what I thought it would be about, that’s for damn sure. And I’m not the least bit disappointed to say that it’s not what I was expecting it to be. I was thinking it was going to be a story about two people slowly falling in love with each other with the perfect ending, them living happily ever after. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a love story within this book, a couple in fact, but it’s also a story about a subject that many find to be difficult to discuss.
This book went from expecting an easy-going love-story, a quick read to calm my mind from the book overload I’ve been putting myself through lately, and instead turned into being a book that hit very close to home. I haven’t been in an exact situation such as what Lily went through, where it was a physically abusive situation; first her experiencing it between her father beating his wife, and then going through it herself, but I did have an abusive marriage. Situations such as Lily’s and my own is something no-one should experience even once in their life.
I believe that this story shows people that not everything can be seen on the surface, that sometimes things are buried so deep that you never know they’re there unless they’re told about them. Such as the relationship between Lily’s father and mother. Her father is the town mayor, a high-profile man that the town has come to love because they believe him to be sweet and caring, but they don’t realize what goes on behind the closed doors. He would make sure to only abuse his wife in the confines of their own home, hurt her in places that cannot be seen by others, and make her feel as that time would be the last time when not even that deep down she knows it’s going to happen again and again. In the beginning, according to Lily, her father would apologize after what he had done to his wife, trying to make up for it by taking them both out to dinners and such, but there is no true apology that can be given for such a thing. And there is never only once.
And I’m sure what most people will think while reading this story, that she should have just walked out, left him the first time it happened. I used to think the same when I was married and found myself in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship. Leaving the first time it happens may be a thought that constantly goes through ones mind but it’s one of those extremely rare results to the situation. The thoughts and feelings that are involved in the situation make it difficult to follow through with leaving that first time, especially when loving that person is involved as you want to think the best of them. You want to believe it truly won’t happen again.
For Lily’s mother, she didn’t end up leaving her husband at all, she ended up staying with him until the end of his life, which was thankfully cut short due to getting sick.
The one good thing that happened to Lily while having to handle being in the same house, hearing and seeing what was done to her mother on a normal basis, is that of Atlas, a homeless boy that goes to live in the abandoned house behind Lily’s. He treats her with a kindness that she isn’t used to having. Though her father never laid a hand on his daughter such as he did his wife, Lily never really knew what true kindness and love was because of it. Atlas shows her different, shows her how a man should treat a woman; with respect and caring. He sadly is only there with her for a few weeks though, as he eventually goes and lives in Boston with his Uncle, to only return to Lily in Maine just one more time.
Side note – I’m leaving a lot of what goes on with this story as I don’t want to ruin for anyone. This is a story that everyone should read at least once in their life to really get a sense of how something could be happening in their life without another ever knowing about it.
Fast-forward to Boston a few years later, where Lily finds herself living, however, she still has yet to see Atlas since he moved down there many years before. Instead, her love story is with Ryle, a neurosurgeon. Ryle is someone who seems to be stuck in his ways when he and Lily first meet on a rooftop patio in the middle of Boston and with time Lily soon breaks through his barriers and their soon falling head-over-heels in love with each other. They laugh and love and fight like any normal person, making her fall for both of them and hate it when anything wrong goes wrong with them, nevertheless, everything doesn’t stay all lovey-dovey with the two of them as you could probably guess considering I did mention that Lily experienced an abuse situation personally as well, however, she soon finds that she has strength within herself to handle the situation much more different than her mother.
Oh, and Atlas comes back into the picture as well! I refuse to spoil where he comes back into the mix though.
I know this review seems a bit over the place and doesn’t really tell you all that much as to what went on in the book, but unlike when others review a book I make mine more personal and about what I liked or disliked about the book instead of doing a huge recap of what goes on in the book, ending the review with a simple like or dislike. Now, this review is a bit different as I didn’t go through and mention what I did and didn’t like about the book and this is because I enjoyed every bit of it. I know, it’s probably confusing to read that I actually liked a book that deals with abuse. No, I hated every bit of the abuse that was going on throughout the story; what did make me love the book so much is what was being said under the layers of it all. Like I mentioned in the beginning of all this, it makes you open your eyes and realize that not everything is one layer deep and things can be well hidden if the person wants them to be.
This book is one that had me full of angry and laughter, joy and love. And in the end had me crying my eyes out.
I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone as abuse can happen to anyone and everyone. It’s a subject that should be talked about often instead of hidden away, pushed away as if it’s not something important. It’s something that parents should discuss with their children, making sure they understand that any kinds of abuse, verbal, physical, emotional, etc. should never happen for any reason to any one. And it can happen to anyone. Men, women, children, any gender, any color, any age.
If you’re reading this and know of anyone in an abusive relationship of any kind, please don’t hesitate to help them.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Text “START” to 88788
About It Ends With Us
Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up
— she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
A list of Colleen Hoover’s books can be found here – Book List