Monday, June 30, 2008

And they lived happily ever after...

What is it that defines a really satisfying story? I'll admit to habitually picking up the standard grocery store historical romance and reading it in a few hours. I know what I'm getting. There will be a handsome rogue, a feisty lady, some kind of problem that needs addressing and yes, there will be a final portrait of the family living in wedded bliss.

However, as much as I enjoy these romps through the landscape of Old England, I do make practice of closing the book at the end of the last chapter. I don't tend to read the Epilogue that hints at babies born, joy and everything is just perfect now. It's all a given. There's no punch.

This is why my stories are not always Happily Ever After.
I've got two books releasing in the next month. The Forgotten Princess has the ending we all look for in a fairy tale—white horses, carriage, a wedding, and children to remember our hero and heroine. The Silver Scream, things do not end so well for our main characters. And yet, if you ask me which one has the better ending…I will pick The Silver Scream.

A little bit of sadness and desire unfulfilled leaves me, the reader, wanting just a little bit more. There's a need to return, and maybe for one little instant, a need to cry.
Crying…that is the ultimate stamp of approval in my reading world. If the Kleenex box is emptied, the book goes in the "Keeper" pile.

What about you? What makes you pick up yet another book? Is it the happy ending? A heartfelt experience? Or something else…

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Connie Northrop said...

I like my HEAs. Too many sad endings and I've been known to stop reading the author's books. If I want sad endings I can look at my life and those of friends. Or worse yet, the news.