Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happily Ever After

I've been thinking a lot about the idea of happily ever after -- and the ending of For Ever. I really love the idea of happily ever after: Good triumphs over bad. True love conquers. But I've also realized that a lot of the books and films that I've read or watched multiple times don't always have a happy ending. They feel like they ended too soon, because I didn't want them to end -- or the end left me in tears and I desperately wanted a happy ending.

I remember being riveted by Tuck Everlasting (1975 by Natalie Babbitt) when one of my teachers in elementary school read it to us. It had such an impact on me that I still think of it as an adult. The themes -- of mortality, making choices, growing up, love -- all touched me. As an adult, I had a similar experience when I read The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I've read it three times, which is something I don't often do. And I think it's mostly because I keep expecting the ending to change. I love the book, but my emotional side hates the ending with a passion.

I have a theory about my inclination to revisit these titles in particular. They -- not just their endings but their themes throughout -- have really made me think about my own existence and our transience on this planet, which are things I've thought a lot about ever since I was a little kid.

I think this is partially how For Ever came about and why I wrote the ending the way I did. Some people may not like it, but there's that old saying: You can't please everyone. Which is so true! Everybody is different. But I hope For Ever and other books out there make people feel and think.

Never, the sequel to For Ever, is coming next year -- and all cliffhangers will be answered then. Of course, how Never ends remains to be seen. ...

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