It Ends with Us is a novel from the american author Colleen Hoover. It has been published in 2016 and it is part of the literary genre of romance.It can also be described as a « psychological drama ». To write this book, the author drew inspiration from certain events in her life. It’s a really poignant book, you don’t get the same after you read it. Indeed, the book is about domestic violence. Here is the story of this novel :
For as long as she can remember, Lily Blossom Bloom has always lived in a world of physical and psychological violence. Between a violent father and a mother blinded by love she finds submissive, she swore to herself never to experience this. Her dream is to open a flower shop in Boston, the city « where everything goes well ». This is where she meets Ryle, a neurosurgeon who has everything to please and who seems really attracted to her. But Lily finds it hard to give her confidence to the male people after her traumatic childhood. Her story with Ryle will plunge her back into her family memories to Atlas, her childhood love that she never managed to completely forget.
The author portrays two different characters. Ryle is funny, charming, ambitious but we gradually discover a dark hidden side. Atlas, he went trough hell before realizing his dream : to open a restaurant in Boston. He is nevertheless a deeply good and kind person. Yet fate chose to separate him from Lily. We follow Lily’s internal journey. We first have the point of view of the child who does not understand why her mother allows herself to be beaten and tries to hide what she has suffered, instead of denouncing her husband. Then we move on to the teenage Lily who lives in misunderstanding and fear but who meets a homeless man who has conquered her heart, Atlas. Finally we have the point of view of the adult who loves his tormentor, Ryle, despite the beatings, the excuses and the pardons. We knew that love was complex but when hope enters the game, it distorts all our bearings.
The author shows us that we can’t imagine how we would react in a certain situation before being confronted with it. Lily who was sure of what she would do if her husband hit her loses all her bearings when the situation arises. Yet she forgives Ryle because deep down, she wishes with all her heart that this man was not like her father. However, Ryle’s actions are repeated and excuses rain down… His mother will tell her : « We all have a limit. What we’re willing to put up with before we break. When I married your father, I knew exactly what my limit was. But slowly . . . with every incident . . . my limit was pushed a little more. And a little more. The first time your father hit me, he was immediately sorry. He swore it would never happen again. The second time he hit me, he was even more sorry. The third time it happened, it was more than a hit. It was a beating. And every single time, I took him back. But the fourth time, it was only a slap. And when that happened, I felt relieved. I remember thinking, ‘At least he didn’t beat me this time. This wasn’t so bad.”
Lily is someone everyone can relate to. She is an extraordinary person who always sees the good in others. When she suffers, the reader suffers with her. We would like so much to be able to help her.The author manages to get us into the story. We fall in love with Ryle along with her, we take the first hit with her, etc… It makes us open our eyes to domestic violence. The story is all the more touching as the author experienced the same situation with her parents : her father beat her mother.
I won’t tell you the full story because I would like you to discover it yourself. To know what the heroine will do, it will be necessary to read the book. I clearly adored this novel but at the same time it upset me so much ; I have never felt so many things with a book. This novel is a real cry fo all people who experience domestic violence. It calls into question all our certainties and our assumptions about this violence.
The sentence that stuck out to me the most was : “All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”