Monday, May 2, 2016

The Perfect Ending to a Good Story (Ruin and Rising, by Leigh Bardugo)

August 2015 we wrote a post a sampler for Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows. We went on to read the three books in Ms Bardugo's trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising. They were wonderful. Six of Crows not so much, but that's a different posting.

This post is about the end of the third book. After all the struggles are over, the dead are buried and peace has returned. The central characters, a boy and a girl,  are together, as they deserve to be, living in their childhood home, raising children like they had been raised.

The last page has one of the finest story closures we have ever read, and we must share it with our readers. You don't have to know their story. It is enough to know it's the end of it.

The boy and girl had both known loss, and their grief did not leave them. Sometimes he would find her standing by a window, fingers playing in the beams of sunlight that streamed through the glass, or sitting on the front steps of the orphanage, staring at the stump of the oak tree next to the drive. Then he would go to her, draw her close, and lead her to the shores of Trivka's pond, where the insects buzzed and the grass grew high and sweet, where old wounds might be forgotten.

She saw sadness in the boy too. Though the woods still welcomed him, he was separated from them now, the bond born into his bones burned away in the same moment that he'd given up his life for her.

But then the hour would pass, and the teachers would catch them giggling in a dim hallway or kissing by the stairs. Besides, most days were too full for mourning. There were classes to teach, meals to prepare, letters to write. When evening fell, the boy would bring the girl a glass of tea, a slice of lemon cake, an apple blossom floating in a blue cup. He would kiss her neck and whisper new names in her ear: beauty, beloved, cherished, my heart.

They had an ordinary life, full of ordinary things–if love can ever be called that.

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