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How It Ends - May book club

(48 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 15-May-19 09:21:00

Hoping winners of How It Ends should have their books very soon so starting this thread for everyone to leave their reviews and questions for the author.

We know that the books are later than normal, so rest assured that you will have the full month to read and we will send the questions over after that.

tiggers Sun 19-May-19 14:46:57

Have just finished reading "How It Ends". I was 'hooked' from the start and found it difficult to put the book down, as I was keen to know what happened next.

I could feel the sense of claustrophobia in the book and 'felt' for the characters in their own individual claustrophobic situations as it was so well evoked.

Saskia - at what age did you first know you wanted to be a writer? What other career path might you have chosen instead?

Crocky Tue 21-May-19 10:35:31

How it Ends by Saskia Sarginson
I ended up enjoying the book, but how it ends was infinitely better than how it began!

To begin with the story is set on an American Air Force in 1957 and moves to a farm in Norfolk. The main characters are an American Air Force family of Father a war hero, Mother a British woman and fraternal twins of boy and girl.

The gothic style writing and the angst and problems of the characters builds up the feeling of that something bad is happening in Book 1.

It was only almost half way through the book with the more everyday characters in the shape of Mrs Rose and Peter that the story began to lighten and move towards a conclusion in Books 2 and 3.

I would have liked to more detail of what was going on at the base and less about the minor issues of some of the other characters.

My question to Saskia is :-
Why was there no substantial male character in the book to act as counter balance to the damaged ones?

GrandmaCornwall Tue 21-May-19 23:32:08

I really enjoyed How it Ends, the characters were believable and plausible. I was really sad to find the one solid male character Hank turned out to be a deceitful, evil man I did not see that coming. The ending was surprising and not over the top, just the right balance to finish on.
Thank you for a great read. I am looking forward to reading more of your work.
To form your characters do you do a lot of people watching and take details from real life ?

mummydiaz Wed 22-May-19 08:50:30

This is a book which will keep you gripped from start to finish. It immerses you in experiences of love, hate, childhood,young adulthood, mental illness, old age and disability. It is such a whirlwind read from start to finish I couldn’t put it down. Beautiful writing , a joy to read. Absolutely loved it and will be reading more of her books now.

emmasnan Fri 24-May-19 14:41:58

I really enjoyed this book and found it difficult to put down.
The description of the brace Christopher wore was so well written, I could almost feel his discomfort and how restricted he must have been.
I also understood the responsibility Hedy must have felt for him.
Can I ask why you chose that particular disability for Chris to have inherited?

notreallyagran Fri 24-May-19 15:21:35

There's so much I enjoyed about this book. It's such a harrowing story, but it's told with sensitivity and empathy. I love the descriptive language and the way I felt a deep connection to each of the main characters. (I agree with emmasnan about being able to feel the discomfort of Christopher's brace.) I guessed that Hank knew a lot more than he was letting on from descriptions of his body language throughout the book, but I was still shocked by the revelations towards the end.
I've been wondering why you chose a relatively happy ending for Hedy and Ruby, although I'm glad you did. They'd been through enough.

Itsmyfirstrodeo Sun 26-May-19 12:48:21

I have finished reading, How it ends, and can honestly say that I loved it. It has been a while since I've read a book that has kept me gripped from start to finish, and without a clue what would happen next.
Plot twists galore, I did not see what was coming, so I am full of admiration for Saskia Sarginson, in these times of sequels and remakes, it was refreshing to fall into this tale and it being based on true events made it even more interesting.
There's nowt so queer as folk, made true by this imagining.
Attention to detail made for a beautiful mind's eye, not once was there room for doubt in regards to how the scene was set, or how the character was feeling.
I will definitely be reading more books available from this author.
My question to Saskia is, did you consider a story line which kept Christopher in it?

rocketstop Sat 01-Jun-19 09:26:29

I really enjoyed the book and felt all the issues had become magnified in intensity by the plot being set in such confined quarters as a military base.
I found myself distrusting and disliking 'Betty' as soon as the character was introduced and even though she was only a bit player in the plot, she was very real in my mind's eye.
Hedy and Chris had become damaged children and I suppose in this day and age, sovcial services would have become involved with their family.
Saskia, why did you choose to write them both as being gay? Did you decided that from the beginning? Did it just evolve in the writing, or was it a deliberate effort to connect the behaviour of twins who are said to have the same traits etc?
I see you wrote your previous book called 'Twins' is this a theme in your writing? Are you a twin ?

EmmaBradshaw12 Sun 02-Jun-19 11:11:33

I just read the book on holiday and loved it! I'm not sure why but it's not the kind of book I would normally choose based on the cover and the blurb but it was so much more exciting and engaging than I was expecting. I will definitely be looking out for Saskia's other books! I always think it's amazing how much knowledge it must take to write a book set in the past historically correct so my question is - did you already know a lot about the 1950's and 60's before writing the book and/or did you need to do a lot of research?

flybee Wed 05-Jun-19 13:57:28

I was hooked from the start, and had a few early nights so I could finish it.The characters were so believable and engaging.I will be looking out for more of Saskia’s books to read. Do you have connections with this part of the country?

jhaus24 Mon 10-Jun-19 22:24:15

Received this book as a giveaway from Gransnet. It was great to receive such a good book. A very interesting story. Kept my interest from beginning to the end. At times was hard to put down. Recommended. Will be on the lookout for more books from this author.

Pittcity Tue 11-Jun-19 10:01:53

I wasn't lucky enough to get a copy but have downloaded it to my Kindle on your recommendations. It's only 99p today!

joannapiano Tue 11-Jun-19 10:32:00

This is the first book I have read set in the background of the Cold War in the 1950s. I was gripped by the claustrophobic atmosphere of the US airbase in East Anglia, and felt sorry for the mother, Ruby, downing pills to cope with life. The twins, Hedy and Christopher, really came to life, particularly descriptions of poor Christopher’s spinal brace sufferings. I,too, wondered why the author made them both gay.
I was quite shocked at the end, to read that the plot was loosely based on real events, albeit not in the UK. A real horror story.

ctkell Tue 18-Jun-19 14:14:26



jacalpad Wed 26-Jun-19 12:48:07

I really enjoyed this well-written book, with its lovely descriptive style. As I live in East Anglia I particularly enjoyed reading about relatively close-by places. I began to wonder if Hank knew more than he was letting on, but was taken by surprise by how devious and evil he actually was - while pretending to be everyone’s friend and saviour. I too found it interesting that both twins were gay, although perhaps this is not uncommon. I particularly liked the explanatory notes at the end of the book. They were very useful.

My question to the author - how long did it take you to form the plot for the book, which has lots of twists and turns?

Anj123 Wed 26-Jun-19 16:04:30

I am just over halfway through the book now. It started off slowly but I am enjoying it a lot more as the story progresses, and am feeling sorry for the main characters. I can’t wait to find out what happens at the end.

I would like to ask Saskia where she gets her inspiration from, and does she know someone with the disability Chris had? Thanks for giving me the opportunity to read this book. ?

Teamug Wed 26-Jun-19 18:28:10

i enjoyed the book although i felt i would have liked to know more about the experiments on the camp , good book on the whole.

adrisco Wed 26-Jun-19 18:35:21

I enjoyed the book, athough it was not always easy reading .. was heartbroken by Chris's situation. Would like to ask Saskia how she wrote about that level of suffering .. was it taken from a situation from the life of someone she knows or knew?

Doreen5 Wed 26-Jun-19 19:59:02

I have to admit it wasn't the kind of book I would have chosen to read. However, I really enjoyed it. Once started, I couldn't put it down. Saskia's insight was haunting and brilliant and the whole book was well written. I wonder how long it took her to write it? Highly recommended read. I will now try to read her other books.

MrsH21 Wed 26-Jun-19 21:59:27

Found it hard to get into this book at first but then coudn't put it down. Has love, hate, mystery. well worth reading.

GrannyLock Wed 26-Jun-19 22:33:43

An enjoyable read, some of which I could relate to. My question for Saskia did shebase the characters on people she knows?

Immiesnana Thu 27-Jun-19 08:09:43

I haven't finished this book yet ( only because this is a very busy time for me) but I had to make the deadline for comments! It is not my usual type of book but it's good to move out of your comfort zone. So far so good but I can't really judge until the end. I like a book that is well written and this hits the spot.How writers work out their plots is always a source of wonder for me so I would also like to ask Saskia how the plot emerged?

Nanny21 Thu 27-Jun-19 11:22:11

What an incredible story. This is a story about a loving family that go to live on an American Airbase in England. Their lives fall apart as things happen that they have no control over. The twist comes when a friend they trust and respect betrays them in a most awful way. I particularly liked the character Hedy who proves to be the strongest one.

My question for Saskia is, what is Green Ham?

jmor Thu 27-Jun-19 16:26:20

Although this was not the sort of book I usually read I enjoyed it very much. I felt so sorry for Christopher and the ending of their time in the military camp was very sad but I was shocked to find that Hank was such a traitor to them all.