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I have to preface this review by stating that I have no intention of ruining the end of THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE by David Wroblewski. The title of this blog reveals very little. In fact that is part of my quandary. First of all: Do we need happy endings? Second: Can we live with out them and Third: Who determines what IS a happy ending?
Maybe this final question can be answered by saying the obvious—be acknowledging that every reading is subjective and no two people will experience an ending in the same way. But in this case that is all complicated by the author who somehow manages to arrive at the inevitable in an extremely unexpected and unsettling way.

Having finished the book about Edgar Sawtelle (if finish is the term because I literally hurled myself through the last 150 pages) I can tell you that I’m not sure whether the author intended the ending to be happy or not. I can say that I’m not happy! Now it isn’t that there wasn’t an enormous amount of beauty and a certain degree of, dare I say it, peace, to the end..because there were buckets of both. But at the same time I wanted to simply scream out, “THAT CAN‘T BE“!  

I have rarely come to the end of a book and not been able to assess why I’m so incredibly unsettled, unsatisfied, disappointed, especially in light of the fact that at the same that the ending “just made sense“!!  

I’m not sure that there’s even room to discuss the beautiful writing in this book or the humane characterizations which simply melt off the page but yes, this book has those as well.

This story is BIG. Very Big. Take the time to lose yourself in it and you’ll be both swept away and challenged! Happy endings aren’t to be taken lightly but rather, to be met at face value and appreciated for their intrinsic worth.




Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Feb 16, 2010
    • Ok I started to read it and stopped somewhere halfway thru.... and I struggled to read that much. So it sits on the shelf with the bookmark in where I left off waiting for me to decide if I will go back.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Feb 17, 2010
    • Or I could send it to you to read then you can let me know if I should finish?????



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Caroline Igra wrote Feb 17, 2010
    • It’s worth the read....There is no question that there are extremely long passages in the middle of the book where the main character is walking through the woods (don’t want to give away more)...but they‘re worth it.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Saylor101 wrote Feb 17, 2010
    • Putting the book aside and simply answering the questions.

      First of all: Do we need happy endings?  

            for my personal fullfillment I DO need Happy Endings - in many - AS  many as possible things in my life.....They give me hope, fill my heart and allow me to continue on with all things.

      Second: Can we live with out them ?

            Sure, but why would we want to - and why would we want anyone else to?  We must surround ourself with things that offer us what we “need”

      Third: Who determines what IS a happy ending?  

           I believe each individual does - we all know the basic fairy tale happy ending - but no doubt there are many levels of happyiness, reality, and best result of a circumstance....

         We Do Not Alway Have A Choice or Control Over ALL Endings, I find the silver lining or the lesson offered and make it all as HAPPY as it can be.....Sometimes that has to be good enough.....



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