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What Ends

by Andrew Ladd

Family Drama Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on What Ends

An achingly poignant and touching read, and one that leaves you with a lingering wistful thoughtfulness as you turn the last page. Humans are abandoning and rats are taking over the small Scottish island of Eilean Fior, one guesthouse remains, clinging to life. Detailing four time periods between 1980 and 2002 the focus is on the McCloud family and their feelings of isolation, guilt, responsibility and in some cases, love for their home. The island, while the heart of the story, remains shyly in the background, this is very much a human tale about hidden emotions and feelings. The author has the ability to be extraordinarily expressive without an overflowing of descriptive detailing; he skilfully brings this family and their hopes and dreams to life. At times sorrowful and thought provoking, yet its core retains a beauty as this is a moving and eloquently emotional novel. ~ Liz Robinson


For similar reads:

The Railwayman’s Wife by Ashley Hay

The Carriage House by Louisa Hall.

Liz Robinson

What Ends Synopsis

Shortlisted for the Young Lions Fiction Award 2015 On Eilean Fior, a small island off the north-west coast of Scotland with twenty-eight inhabitants, the McClouds run a faltering guesthouse. A family business, it is expected that one of the three children will eventually take over. But Barry, Flora and Trevor all have their own ideas. In this nuanced and moving debut novel, Andrew Ladd weaves together a series of conjoined narratives which follow each of the McClouds as they struggle to find a balance between their feelings of obligation and their desire for personal freedom. At once a lyrically haunting and unforgettable elegy for lost world, What Ends is also a subtle family saga about change and regret - about the difference between feeling one is trapped and the reality of being so.

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What Ends Press Reviews

'This is no debut but a masterwork, an aborbing micro-saga whose completion we mourn.'
Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn

'Each of the McClouds is rendered with a vivid complexity and it is that vividness which makes What Ends so truly suspenseful and so deeply satisfying. And surely every reader will want to visit Eilean Fior; happily we can in these beautiful pages. A sparkling and eloquent debut.'
Margot Livesey

'Andrew Ladd draws the reader into their outwardly small lives to show layer after layer of complexity... a heady read'
Daily Mail

'Impressive... Ladd's writing [is] precise in its descriptions of landscape and unspoken emotion... beautifully handled'
Sunday Telegraph

'Ladd's prose is simple, lyrical, given free rein to explore a family saga that feels a lot fuller than might be expected from a 250-page novel... touching and precise'
The Skinny


'What Ends is about the ambiguity of the bonds that relate us to people and places and bring meaning to our lives... Andrew Ladd's success lies in how he induces the reader to relate to these moments of quiet beauty in the same way we relate to them in life'

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781780746111
Publication date: 19/03/2015
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781780746111
Publication date: 19th March 2015
Author: Andrew Ladd
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 272 pages
Genres: Family Drama, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Andrew Ladd

Andrew Ladd is the blog editor for and his work has appeared in Apalachee Review, Memoir Journal and, among others. He grew up in Edinburgh and has since lived in Boston, Montreal and New York. He currently lives in London. What Ends is his first novel.   Author photo © Maureen Cotton photography

More About Andrew Ladd

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