I would change the conclusions of every book that ends tragically. I don’t like it when a main character I’ve fallen in love with dies on the last page. I don’t like sad endings. Sure, in real life, tragic events happen all the time. People die. But I don’t want to read about it. That’s why we call it fiction – it’s not real life. Surely in make believe land, we can smile when closing a book for the last time. Yes, I know, every story must have conflict, or we wouldn’t read it. So it’s okay to kill off some supporting characters. Just not the hero or heroine who, over the course of several thousand words, has become my best friend.
One novel where I would absolutely change the ending is the story, The Friday Night Knitting Club, by Kate Jacobs. I didn’t expect to like this book, as I have no interest in yarn, but on recommendation from a friend, I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. That’s because the story isn’t about knitting – it’s about relationships.
With the help of close friends and competent employees, single mom Georgia Walker runs a knitting shop in New York City. Her life isn’t easy, operating a small business and raising a daughter. But it’s not a bad life. She keeps busy and enjoys her friendships. Just when Georgia begins to find more happiness, when she and Dakota’s father reunite, bam, she is diagnosed with cancer. Okay. It’s conflict. It keeps the pages turning. She could fight it and win, right? After a long battle that strengthens all those relationships in the story, she could go into remission, right? Yes, that’s how I would end the story.
I do recommend this book. It’s a good story. But like I said, I don’t like sad endings.