It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Tell Me How This Ends by Jo Leevers. A BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick!
About the Author
Jo Leevers grew up in London and has spent most of her career working on magazines, most recently writing features about homes and interiors for leading newspapers and magazines. This means she gets to visit people around the country and ask them about all the things in their homes. Some might call this a licence to be nosey…
Tell Me How This Ends is her debut. Whether writing fiction or interviewing people for articles, she is fascinated by the life stories that we all carry with us. She has two grown-up children and lives with her husband and their wayward dog, Lottie, in Bristol. Follow @JoLeevers on Twitter, Visit linktr.ee/joleevers
About the book
The captivating debut novel from journalist Jo Leevers is a beautifully rendered exploration of loss, morality and the power of storytelling.
Haunted by the past, Henrietta throws herself into a new job transcribing other people’s life stories, vowing to stick to the facts and keep emotions at arm’s length. But when she meets the eccentric and terminally ill Annie, she finds herself inextricably drawn in. And when Annie reveals that her sister drowned in unexplained circumstances in 1974, Henrietta’s methodical mind can’t help following the story’s loose ends…
Unlike Henrietta, Annie is brimming with confidence—but even she has limits when it comes to opening up. Ever since that terrible night when her sister left a pile of clothes beside the canal and vanished, Annie has been afraid to look too closely into the murky depths of her memories.
When her attempts to glide over the past come up against Henrietta’s determination to fill in the gaps, both women find themselves confronting truths they’d thought were buried forever—especially when Henrietta’s digging unearths a surprising emotional connection between them.
Could unlocking Annie’s story help Henrietta rewrite the most devastating passages in her own life? And, in return, can she offer Annie a final twist in the tale, before it’s too late?
I loved this, the story encapsulates the essence of what a huge impact some human interactions can have. Just small moments, often they seem so inconsequential, especially to the people involved. Annie and Henrietta have no idea that they are two people caught up in exactly such a moment. Their lives lived enduring, coping with and never quite processing the trauma.
Henrietta reminds me of Eleanor Oliphant, the person who never quite fits in because her way of experiencing life and interacting isn’t the expected societal norm. The new job is a challenge and an exciting adventure at the same time. Dealing with people telling their life stories to be turned into a precious memory for loved ones and even the clients themselves, well it seems like a really annoying task and simultaneously it could be a simple job, right?
Annie is one of those clients, but isn’t convinced that she has enough to warrant telling her life story, except there is the small matter of the sister that just disappeared off the face of the earth. Henrietta finds herself captivated by this mystery of the missing sister and starts to dig, and in doing so starts to unlock her own buried secrets and trauma.
It’s a beautifully introspective story that draws a connection of thin threads between the characters, which is driven by hidden balls of emotions they have successfully ignored for many years. Beautiful, blunt, and I can’t wait for more by this author.
Buy Tell Me How This Ends at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Lake Union Publishing; pub date 1st May 2023 | Paperback original: £8.99. Buy at Amazon com.