Cover Image: How It Ends

How It Ends

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Quite a slow book I thought and a heavy one at that, but all the same enjoyable. I much preferred her previous books to be honest as this took me a while to get into and I didn’t find it as gripping as her previous books, still a good read though.
Was this review helpful?
I thought this was go9ing to be about the decline of Ruby who moves with her family to a US base in England, but it is so much more.  Beautifully written, descriptive and cleverly crafted characters
Was this review helpful?
Set in the 1950s this book is quite a heavy read. I had to stop quite a few  times to think about the story and let the story sink in. It is an amazing story and I think every one should read this book at least once!
Was this review helpful?
The year is 1957 and Hedy and her family have left America and relocated to an American airbase in Suffolk due to her dad’s promotion.
They are a wonderful family unit, but her mother, Ruby, wanted to stay in America and is finding it difficult being back in England, her country of birth. 

Hedy’s twin brother, Christopher spends most of his time writing science fiction stories.

Saskia very cleverly leads us into a beautiful story of family domesticity, Hedy’s mum Ruby loves staying at home looking after her and Christopher, who needs constant care due to having scoliosis, whilst her dad, Todd, goes off to the airbase every day. But underneath the rot is settling in. Why is Hedy’s dad coming home seemingly drunk every night, why is her brother obsessed with the forest next to the airbase, is he really hearing voices? Why is her mother becoming more nervous and anxious everyday?

This is a gripping and thought-provoking account of one lovely ordinary family being torn apart by events that took place during the post-war years and it is left to Hedy to piece everything together with the help of the Christopher’s manuscript.

I have not come across this author before, but I will definitely be on the lookout for her books in the future.
Was this review helpful?
I'm a bit of a fan of Saskia Sarginson, though I haven't read all her books. I enjoy the way she writes and the stories she weaves. There is something very lyrical about her writing style that I find carries me along, and that was definitely the case here.
It's a style that paints a picture and draws you in. In this case, it was into the lives of a complicated family relationship, one where secrets and lies have devastating consequences.
What these consequences are isn't immediately apparent but there is a sense of foreboding from the very beginning of the book that let me know things probably weren't going to end well for any member of the family. 
I really liked how the story slowly unfolded and I was left guessing about just what had happened to Hedy (the main character's) father and brother. What eventually came out was tragic and yet inevitable. It left me with a heavy heart, not at the book but at how it all turned out.
Which means this isn't a light book or a beach read. But it is a good book, a great one even, and one I can highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
This was a very emotional story about an American Service family with an English mother who return to the UK in the 1950s and are living on an American base. The Cold War and secrets impact on the family leading to a tragedy with one survivor, who tries to find out what happened.
Was this review helpful?
I didn't realise until the end (the author's note) that this was inspired by real life CIA experiements during the cold war, which makes it all the more horrific. There's a gripping plot here and a pervasive sense of hopelessness and loneliness among its broken characters, but it's certainly worth the read. Chilling and tense it will keep you awake at night!
Was this review helpful?
This book had a slow start and it took me a while to get into it however as the story went on I really started to enjoy it. It had a great ending and overall I really enjoyed it.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this ARC
Was this review helpful?
This was an intense read - don't get me wrong, it was beautiful and moving but at times it felt intensely claustrophobic. I'm not even sure if I mean that to be a criticism. I did enjoy reading it, i felt the characters were incredibly well crafted
Was this review helpful?
There is a real element of claustrophobia to the plot. After a bit of a slow start, it becomes quite fast paced and riveting and the issues tackled really make you think. Very well written and engaging.
Was this review helpful?
This wasn't a book that I was particularly looking forward to reading but I am so glad I did.  It was an excellent story, very readable and well written and with a surprising ending and I actually really loved it.  Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
This was a super, fast-moving story with plenty to keep me entertained and wanting to read on. There were many issues in this book, which as a twenty-first-century reader were quite shocking, but Saskia Sarginson, through her enviable talent, interwove them into a hugely compelling and enjoyable narrative. How It Ends looked at how we justify extremes of behaviour and of deception at multiple levels and combined them into a complex, multi-threaded, fascinating plot.

The author's engaging and memorable characters made this novel an absolute pleasure to read and her descriptive powers were very evident here. This is a book not to be missed.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Little, Brown Book Group UK via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
This was an interesting read, it started off a little slow and took time to see where this book was going but by the end everything comes together nicely by the end.

The first part of the books sets the scene and gives us the backstory of the family. The second half concentrates more on the character Hedy and her life at her uncles farm. I actually preferred the second part better.

The writing was really good, it had great scene descriptions. Although I did pick up on a few inaccuracies in some descriptions, but nothing major that affected my reading experience.

Actual rating 3.5 stars

I really enjoyed the characters. Hedy was definitely my favourite out of them all. She came across as caring and loving especially towards her twin brother. I thought most of the characters were well developed to. There were a few that I didn't really like.

All in all, an enjoyable read that will get you're emotions working. Also after finishing the book I discovered that this book is actually based on a true story. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking mystery then this book is for you.

I haven’t read anything from this author before, but I will definitely be looking out for more books by her in the future.

I would like to thank the publishers Piatkus and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of my eARC in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
Absolutely fantastic had me gripped!!! Loved it! Can't wait for more from.this author. Storyline was great, characters were easy to connect with, highly recommended read

Thank you for the advanced copy
Was this review helpful?
A great page turner with pace and tension that kept me turning the pages until the end. Thanks to NG and the publisher for the advance copy,
Was this review helpful?
This was a great fast moving story with plenty to keep you wanting to read on. Hedy is twin sister to her brother Chris who was born with scoliosis and wears a brace to try and correct it. All her life she has looked after and protected him when her mum is incapable of doing it.  When a tradegy occurs it sends her mum over the edge even more and she is left on her own. Her loving dad isn't who she thought he was. When she finds her brothers manuscript she knew that she has to find out what happened that night so that her nightw=mare can end.
I will look forward to reading more books from this author.
Was this review helpful?
This was a bit of an eye opener, first I was so concerned for Hedy finding out the truth about her family, then when she did finally got to the bottom of the mystery years later, I was horrified to find out what had happened. 
To discover that things like the experiments are based on the truth was even more disturbing.
In all I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more by Saskia Sarginson. Thank you netgalley.
Was this review helpful?
thank you for allowing me to read this book. it was very easy to read. i enjoyed the story line and the characters. look forward to reading more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
The book starts in the mid 50s (although has flashbacks to the second World War) when the Delaney family are posted to Suffolk from their current base in Iowa.  The descriptions of the different settings are excellent - and having been to military accommodation (although UK forces not US) it did all ring true.  However, I have one bug bear from the start of the book (which is possibly a bit pedantic!) but it involved white goods.  A big fuss is made about there not being a fridge in the UK house - and Ruby wants to use hers that she's brought from the US - so a colleague arranges for a car battery to be put in the kitchen so the fridge can be powered.  This is then never referred to again - and yet a big deal of it was made initially - just seems like a bit of a white elephant reference, with the world's never ending car battery saving the day. Then a few chapters later the family are 'stacking the dishwasher' after a meal.  So - the kitchen didn't have a fridge but did have a dishwasher, in 1957 rural England.  It just didn't sit right - and that put me on edge (which I appreciate is possibly just me overthinking and I probably should have just gone with it...........)

The first part of the book is very gentle, setting the scene - and filling in the back story of the Delaney family.  The parts about Christopher's scoliosis are written beautifully - and how caring his Mum and twin sister Hedy are is clearly evident.

Slowly, though, things disintegrate.  I'm not going to give away any spoilers - but big stuff happens!

The second part of the book follows Hedy's life at her Uncle's farm - which is where her Mum, Ruby, grew up - although had been estranged from her UK family since before the twins were born.  This section was much more fast paced - both in the speed of the writing and the years that are jumped through. Again the writing really evoked the feel of a run down farm and the hard work involved in working it.  The intertwining of previous parts of the story is done really well.

There are some big themes running throughout the book - family, illness (physical and mental), sexuality, love (seemingly unrequited in some cases), responsibility, to name but a few - and these are all written really well and keep you absorbed.

The ending ties up lots of loose ends, which I always like in a book.

Moving on from my white goods issues and thus initial suspicion - I did really enjoy this book.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you for this ARC! Loved the book. Military family's journey through the cold War, they move from iowa to a US airbase in Suffolk. Ruby her husband Todd and their twins Hedy and Chris have to adapt to being in England, Ruby is originally from England but left with Todd to start a new life with him in the states. 
Things start going wrong and Hedy ends up living on the farm her mum grew up on with her uncle who she's never met before. 
What a roller-coaster of emotions and lies and deception from an unexpected person.
Was this review helpful?