The end of everything by Megan Abbott – a review

The End of Everything –  Megan Abbott

This was another kindle on the train read. The end of everything is a story about two children Evie and Lizzie who are best friends and spend all their time together. They are heading into their teenage years and their heads are filled with boys and clothes. Until one day Evie goes missing, taken by a family friend.

The story is told from Lizzie’s viewpoint, she obviously wants to find her friend and so starts playing detective. She begins to gets close to Evie’s Father Mr Vern who she describes with awe, and Dusty, Evie’s sister who is standoffish and threatening to Lizzie.

This was a quite good story, but it is difficult to review without giving too much away. Although some of the writing seemed to me to be a bit sloppy, ‘shimmery things shimmered’ for example. I did think this was a very thought provoking novel. Throughout the story you are never quite sure what the truth is. Its basis is in sexual abuse which is implied although never explicitly shown. The fact that it is all told from the viewpoint of the young girl gives an unusual perspective on the crime. Events are only told as she sees them, rather than what factually happened, and often you suspect that were she an adult witnessing the same things she would interpret them differently.

I thought in a way it called into question people’s judgements. The lines of right and wrong are well drawn, when the belief of love comes into the argument these lines can sometimes get blurred, and actions that are wrong can be seen as a consequence of affection.

Whilst I suppose the word enjoy is wrong in the context of this book, is it possible to enjoy a book where the undercurrent of sexual assault gives it a quite threatening tone behind the thoughts of a 13 year old? It was a good read. Some of it is pretty unbelievable, for example the wife of the man who abducts Evie sends him money when he runs out. Whereas some of it you only realise the motivation behind the character towards the end, this is especially true of how Mr Vern’s wife reacts to her daughter going missing. The 13 year old viewpoint also lacks a sense of belief in certain areas I thought but overall I think this book made a great train read (that could be the title of my next blog – books for the train!)

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