The End of Always: Book summary and reviews of The End of Always by Randi Davenport

The End of Always

by Randi Davenport

The End of Always by Randi Davenport X
The End of Always by Randi Davenport
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  • Published in USA  May 2014
    336 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

A stunning debut novel, The End of Always tells the story of one young woman's struggle to rise above a vicious family legacy and take charge of her own life.

In 1907 Wisconsin, seventeen-year-old Marie Reehs is determined: she will not marry a violent man, as did her mother and grandmother before her. Day after day, Marie toils at the local laundry, watched by an older man who wants to claim her for his own. Night after night, she is haunted by the memory of her mother, who died in a mysterious accident to which her father was the only witness. She longs for an independent life, but her older sister wants nothing more than to maintain the family as it was, with its cruel rules and punishments. Her younger sister is too young to understand.

At first, it seems that Marie's passionate love affair with a charismatic young man will lead her to freedom. But she soon realizes that she too may have inherited the Reehs women's dark family curse.

Set in the lush woods and small towns of turn-of-the-century Wisconsin, and inspired by real events in the author's family history, The End of Always is a transcendent story of one woman's desperate efforts to escape a brutal heritage. Both enthralling and deeply lyrical, Randi Davenport's novel is also an intensely affecting testament to the power of determination and hope, and a gripping reminder of our nation's long love affair with violence.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Davenport shapes her story - drawn from her own family history - with scrupulous patience, deftly juxtaposing striking images of the Midwestern landscape with evocations of Marie's vivid inner world." - Publishers Weekly

"[A] deeply affecting historical novel of a courageous young woman's struggle to survive in an overtly sexist time is both a sobering and stirring tribute to determination." - Booklist

"It's an accurate commentary about the times that, sadly, may still apply behind the closed doors of many households today." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Randi Davenport

Randi Davenport is the author of The End of Always and of The Boy Who Loved Tornadoes. In 2011, she received the GLCA New Writer's Award for Creative Non-fiction, and was a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Award. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in Huffington Post, Washington Post, Ontario Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Women's History Review, Literature/Film Quarterly, Victorian Literature and Culture, among others.

Randi Davenport has a son and a daughter. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.For more information, you can visit www.RandiDavenport.com

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