If you’ve read Colleen Hoover before you’d probably expect to read a book titled “It ends with us” in a small café with cinnamon wafting from the station as you flip through the pages. Well, if only it was all schmaltz and roses.
I won’t be diving into the plot of the book because I don’t want to run the risk of ruining it. Colleen Hoover is a genius and she knows how to give life to a character that would tug at your heartstrings and everyone has to read this book to savor the real essence of it. I’ll be delving into the impression this book had on me, and probably countless many.
Growing up when I encountered stories of domestic violence it never occurred to me that a woman in their conscience would even think about going back to those abusive households. My immediate response has always been ‘Leave the disgust, leave the person!’
For I knew any kind of abuse should be the end call and there were no two ways about it. And I could never fathom the fact that after everything, a couple would boil down to a solution just to make a relationship work and I try hard to take it as – it’s none of my business – but I don’t want to give this leverage to the society that states ‘it’s a part of every relation.’
Well, ‘leave someone’ – is easier said than done, and if not for this book I could still never comprehend it.
As I walked through the pages it almost felt like a guilty pleasure book. The pace of the book was so intriguing that I actually got time to connect and get attached to Ryle – like the protagonist, Lily did. They had this connection that was so absorbing and satisfying it felt like I stepped into Lily’s shoes for real and was living her story.
I was obsessed with Ryle so much so that when his abusive nature surfaced for the first time I was heartbroken and was just hoping this would change trying to convince myself it was an accident. Ryle was abusive and I ended up romanticizing an abuser. I was caught up in an ocean of confusing emotions and couldn’t decide what should and would Lily do.
But CoHo revealed the truth like a slow death. She showed us how an abuser can have different faces – we attended the good times of an abusive relationship and the temptation to excuse the bad times for it. People are made of layers and layers of shades and it’s never just a black and white situation. We can have a thousand little good moments with someone and just 2 seconds of something terrible that can destroy everything, and she taught us those 2 seconds counts.
This is so crazy because when Ryle acted out and the horror unfolded for the first time I knew for sure it was inexcusable but on the other side, I was also hoping for a miracle and for Lily to forgive him. And if I, who is just an audience, didn’t have the strength to end it for once and for all, I can only imagine how difficult it must’ve been for Lily to not give their relationship one more chance.
Thanks to Hoover for giving such depths to her readers and for creating newfound respect for all the women fighting their own battles, logic clouded by emotions.
Personally, ‘It ends with us’ is one of those books I’d like to save in my coffer and come back to when I have to make judgments over my emotions.