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Fiction,  Review

The Night of Many Endings by Melissa Payne // compelling book club read

What can be better than being stranded in library for a night? But it was tough and life changing for characters of this book. The Night of Many Ending was heart touching, deep, and emotive fiction with heavy topic making it perfect and compelling book club read.

book club read

The Night of Many Endings by Melissa Payne

Expected publication Date : October 19th 2021

Publisher : Lake Union Publishing

Genre : Fiction

Pages : 300

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Disclaimer : Many thanks to author for providing ARC, in exchange for an honest review.
This post contains affiliate links.

Other books I read by the same author

  1. The Secrets of Lost Stones
  2. Memories in the Drift

Synopsis

From Melissa Payne, bestselling author of Memories in the Drift, comes an emotionally rich, feel-good novel about hope, second chances, and seeing the world through someone else’s eyes.

Orphaned at a young age and witness to her brother’s decline into addiction, Nora Martinez has every excuse to question the fairness of life. Instead, the openhearted librarian in the small Colorado community of Silver Ridge sees only promise. She holds on to the hope that she’ll be reunited with her missing brother and does what she can at the town library. It’s her home away from home, but it’s also a sanctuary for others who, like her brother, could use a second chance.

There’s Marlene, an elderly loner who believes that, apart from her husband, there’s little good left in the world; Jasmine, a troubled teen; Lewis, a homeless man with lost hope and one last wish; and Vlado, the security guard who loves a good book and, from afar, Nora.

As a winter storm buries Silver Ridge, this collection of lonely hearts takes shelter in the library. They’ll discover more about each other, and themselves, than they ever knew—and Nora will be forced to question her brother’s disappearance in ways she never could have imagined. No matter how stranded in life they feel, this fateful night could be the new beginning they didn’t think was possible.

Review

The Night of Many Endings was touching and emotional fiction that revolved around three strangers stuck in library during storm. The story was about addiction, loss, grief, PTSD, depression, homeless life, guilt, regrets, presumptions, stereotypes, loneliness, hope, and following dream and living life before it’s too late.

Writing was gripping, vivid, and touching with its heavy subject and yet it never felt overwhelming. It was written in third person multiple perspectives from Nora, Marlene, and Lewis.

It started with Nora helping homeless and addicts, people like her missing brother (Mario) who haven’t been in contact for years, making it her life purpose that if she couldn’t help her brother, she might help others. She believed in second chances and hoped one day she would be reunited with him. When the spring storm hit the town, she was stuck in the library with- Marlene, grieving, hard and grumpy old lady; a teenage girl, Jasmin, who was trying to steal library book and might be hiding something in her pocket; Lewis, homeless and drug addict, who almost overdosed himself outside library; and Vlado the security guard who was more interested in books than his duty.

It was interesting to read story of these ragtag group, to know what they went through, what happened to Lewis and Mario, what made Marlene how she was now, what Jasmin was hiding, if Nora would find her brother at the end or can start living her life again, can Lewis leave his addiction to be with his family, how four different people from different generation found something common to connect.

This was character driven story and all characters were brilliant written. They all were flawed, had lost something, dream or loved ones and were stuck in life, struggling to move on until they were stranded in library.

Nora was my most favourite. She beautiful soul and amazing librarian. I rooted for her from the beginning. It was easy to empathise with her. It was so sad to see her hurting every day for her missing drug addict brother. She put her own life on hold to find him in hope to reunite with him, help him fighting his addiction. At first, I found her full of hope, brave, strong, calm and in control. But once she shared her thoughts and feeling with others in library and seeing her from others’ perspective made her vulnerable. Like others, I could see that little girl who didn’t just lost her parents but also her brother in that accident, craving for his love, for him to be her family.

Her memories with her brother of good and bad time, written intermittently, showed her feelings, why she helped others, why she was so single minded and determined to help her brother. It gave her character more depth. I could understand her even better and see why she didn’t let anyone come too close in fear of disappointments, thinking they didn’t want a person like her whose life revolved around her brother.

Her development was great. I loved how meeting Lewis, knowing his view and story made her see what she was doing wrong, that all people she pushed away were right all along and how she understood what she really needed to do.

Marlene was interesting character. She wasn’t likable at first. Lonely, grumpy, old lady, always seeing negative in others, brutally honest without any filter that hurt people around her. She had strong perception towards drug addicts, homeless people, and young generation and her being like that with another drug addict and a teenager was definitely going to make the story dramatic. But as the story progressed, we know her more through her perspective and through others as well. She went through a lot in life. It was easy to see why she was like the way she was and what losing her husband, Charlie, did to her.

At first, I didn’t get why she was so against Nora’s kindness but I get it when I read how she lost Charlie. Her development was slow and gradual throughout the story. Hearing Nora and Lewis’ story changed her perspective, she realised how little she knew about people. She understood what her husband always said, she wasn’t as alone as she thought and she could always reach out to people, be nice and make friends. It was amazing to see the woman who thought it was impossible to change at her age, changed a lot by the end, and kept trying.

Lewis was another interesting character. Unlike Nora and Marlene, we know almost nothing about him except he got addicted to drug, had hard time to quit it and cost him his family and why he came to Silver Ridges. Like Marlene he was grumpy, unhappy, lonely old man and he didn’t appreciate when Nora saved him and brought him inside the library. It was touching to read why he got addicted and what added more guilt and trauma that kept him from staying sober. He wasn’t very different from Mario, saw so much at young age and guilt of death on his heart, suffering from PTSD and I could see why he understood Mario and Nora more than any other person in group. I liked him for making Nora see the truth, what makes addict not to come back and that their addiction is their own fight and no one else can help them. At the same time, Nora’s feelings made him see how his addiction might have affected his family and made him want to connect with them and try for them once again.

Jasmin was mysterious till the climax. This girl at first look fiery, lively, lovely, sweet and likable. No one in library, and even me, was expecting this girl had pain at heart. I felt for her hearing her loss and why she stole the book. Her love for her younger sister and grandmother was beautiful. She was a little like Nora, caring for other, companionate even thought their own loss was great and they are still struggling. I admired her even more after knowing what she was hiding in pockets. She was amazing soul and she was final key to ultimate shift in all characters in library, cementing the change in them even after the storm.

The setting of Sliver Ridge library, Colorado during storm made the story atmospheric. I enjoyed reading about the Silver Ridge Library, history and structure, rules and activities Nora hosted. I loved the idea of library for all and seeing Nora making it possible in this story. I enjoyed reading about special library housing manuscripts that I later read in author’s note was based on Brautigan Library.

I also enjoyed the podcast in book. I loved how author showed there is more to all people than meet the eyes, all have story, all are going through something in life, how there is normal person in addicts and homeless people, how people having stereotypes against them makes them feel, and no one is lonely if only one can let others in.

All turns were well written. Most I could see coming but some were surprising. Revelation about Mario just before climax broke my heart for Nora. I could feel her pain and anger. Climax was tense. Revelation of what Jasmin was hiding was surprising. It was great to see how end of storm and night changed so much in characters and what they did once they returned back to life. I felt as connected to all of them as they felt for each other. It was so lovely to see light after darkness, hope and dreams prevailing. It was satisfying to see them all coming to life, overcoming whatever that was holding them all back, moving on in life, and finding support and friendship in each other.

Overall, The Night of Many Endings was heart touching, deep, and emotive fiction with heavy topic making it perfect book club read.

I highly recommend this if you like,
 Character driven stories
steady pace
emotional stories
group read worthy
heavy topics
set in library
sad but very hopeful story
satisfactory ending

Book Links

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What do you think about book and review? Have you read this already or any book by the same author? Which is your favourite book set in library?

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

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