Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Book Review | We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

Source: Preordered purchase. This is a review of my personal reading experience.

We Begin at the End is a mystery novel by Chris Whitaker.

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

There are two kinds of families: the ones we are born into and the ones we create.

Walk has never left the coastal California town where he grew up. He may have become the chief of police, but he’s still trying to heal the old wound of having given the testimony that sent his best friend, Vincent King, to prison decades before. Now, thirty years later, Vincent is being released.

Duchess is a thirteen-year-old self-proclaimed outlaw. Her mother, Star, grew up with Walk and Vincent. Walk is in overdrive trying to protect them, but Vincent and Star seem bent on sliding deeper into self-destruction. Star always burned bright, but recently that light has dimmed, leaving Duchess to parent not only her mother but her five-year-old brother. At school the other kids make fun of Duchess―her clothes are torn, her hair a mess. But let them throw their sticks, because she’ll throw stones. Rules are for other people. She’s just trying to survive and keep her family together.

A fortysomething-year-old sheriff and a thirteen-year-old girl may not seem to have a lot in common. But they both have come to expect that people will disappoint you, loved ones will leave you, and if you open your heart it will be broken. So when trouble arrives with Vincent King, Walk and Duchess find they will be unable to do anything but usher it in, arms wide closed.

Chris Whitaker has written an extraordinary novel about people who deserve so much more than life serves them. At times devastating, with flashes of humor and hope throughout, it is ultimately an inspiring tale of how the human spirit prevails and how, in the end, love―in all its different guises―wins

This was my first time to read Chris Whitaker. I look forward to reading more from him.

We Begin at the End was beautifully written. The characters were so well developed, flawed, and unforgettable. As much as I loved the characters, I also loved that there was a balance between plot and character. It was so well done.

I listened to the audio for much of this, and the prose and the narrator were a great fit.

It did take time for me to get sucked in, but it was such a well developed novel I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

If you love mysteries and crime novels, I highly recommend We Begin at the End, but I also recommend it for those wanting to explore other genres. 

5/5 stars


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  1. This sounds like such an amazing book. I'm intrigued by both Walk and Duchess, and can't wait to read this one. :)

  2. I bought a copy of this but still need to read it. I'm glad you loved it and also reminded me about it๐Ÿ˜


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