Tuesday 23 March 2021

BLOG TOUR: The End is Where We Begin - Maria Goodin

Jay Lewis is a troubled soul. A single father, just trying to keep everything together, he knows he sabotages any real chance of happiness.

Tormented by nightmares and flashbacks, he can’t forget the events from one fateful night that steered the course of the rest of his life. Struggling against the crushing weight of guilt, Jay knows there are wrongs he needs to put right.

Determined to get closure, he seeks out old friends and a past love. But in his quest for a more peaceful future, is he ready to face the trauma of his past?

What did I think?

The End is Where We Begin is a breathtaking book that completely exceeded all of my expectations.  I was expecting a slow, gentle pacing but I was so completely drawn into Jay's story that I couldn't put it down and greedily devoured every single perfectly penned word in this stunning novel.  

We are launched straight into Jay's troubled mind from the very first page as he experiences traumatic flashbacks of an event in his past.  This adds the perfect level of suspense to make sure that the reader is hooked from page one, which I was.  We are teased with snippets from this awful event all of the way through, gradually revealing it piece by piece, and when it fully takes form my heart shattered into a million pieces.

Jay blames himself and carries so much guilt on his shoulders that it's a wonder he doesn't walk with a stoop.  He has an awful lot on his plate anyway, being a 32 year old single father of a 15 year old with all the teenage angst and shenanigans that come with it.  Add in a lost love, a friend who constantly hits the self-destruct button and a father suffering from Alzheimers and we've got quite a story on our hands.

The chapters flow into each other beautifully, often carrying over a word or theme from the previous chapter and I loved this clever, thoughtful touch.  Maria Goodin's writing is stunning, creating loveable and relatable characters that I took to my heart and felt every emotion with them.  Not since the film Stand By Me have I witnessed such beautiful camaraderie between a group of teenage boys.  I was so emotional at the end, struggling to hold back the same tears that are springing to my eyes as I think about it now. 

The End is Where We Begin is a stunning and incredibly moving literary feast for the eyes.  Immersive, emotional and suspenseful, I felt completely bereft when I turned the final page so this is definitely going on my 'to read again' shelf.  I could actually pick it up right now and read it all over again.  An extraordinary novel and one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour; all opinions are my own.

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