After the Crash Spoiler Discussion: What Makes A Satisfying Ending?

If you have not read After the Crash and are planning to, do not read any further. There are SPOILERS in this post. Check out my spoiler free review instead!

After the Crash Spoiler Discussion

And, check out my spoiler-free review for my overall thoughts on the book. As I mentioned in that review, I wasn’t thrilled with the ending. I wanted to talk more about that and what makes a satisfying ending in general (for me), but I couldn’t do that in my regular review. So, here we are…

Did anyone see the end coming?

I was just over halfway through the book when I guessed that Lylie was not going to be a Vitral or a de Carville. But, I couldn’t work out how that was going to happen. It was this how that kept me turning the pages until the end.

Now, let’s talk about that how…
  • Melanie Belvoir’s introduction into the story was a big shock for me, but not in a good way. 
  • I didn’t like how Bussi introduced a brand new character (especially the lynchpin to the story) so very late in the book. The fact that a woman (who the reader had not had any chance to care about) abandoning her baby near the crash site was the grand explanation to this whole mystery irritated me. It felt lazy…and I remember thinking “this is it?”
  • I wanted there to be some incredibly complex explanation for how Lylie would test negative for both Vitral and De Carville DNA, yet still be connected to one of those families. I wanted something that I wasn’t nearly smart enough to figure out on my own, but that would make sense in hindsight. Instead, the ending we got was just random…too random.
  • It almost felt like Bussi had gotten this far into the story and couldn’t think of an unique way to make the pieces to the puzzle work, so he threw in an extra piece at the last minute to wrap things up.
What do you think makes a satisfying ending or plot twist?
  • The first time I considered what makes an ending or plot twist stratospherically brilliant was after I read Gone Girl. In my mind, Flynn executed one of the most brilliant plot twists I’d ever read (and this still holds true almost four years later). Its brilliance lay in the fact that I didn’t see it coming (at. all.), but when it did, it made complete sense in hindsight. The facts had been there all along, you just needed to view them through a different lens.
  • Sadly, that wasn’t the case with After the Crash. Melanie Belvoir literally came out of thin air at the very end of the book.
  • I re-read the initial scene (where Grand-Duc first sees the key to the mystery in the December 23, 1980 edition of the Est Republicain) to see if there is a single mention of the Missing Person Notice for Melanie Belvoir and there wasn’t. The only items mentioned as being in the newspaper are the “The Miracle of Mont Terrible” article, the photograph of the plane’s wreckage and its caption, and the photograph of the fireman holding Lylie in front of the Montbeliard hospital.

How do you feel about the ending of After the Crash? Did it make sense and fit with the story for you? What do you think makes a satisfying ending or plot twist in general?

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  1. lani wrote:

    I agree with you. It felt like it was an afterthought-that she couldn’t come up with any suitable resolution. That said, I did really enjoy the book so I just really ignored the ending. It also felt abrupt!

    Posted 2.2.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      I agree – I enjoyed so much of the book up until that point, that the ending didn’t really kill the book for me.

      Posted 2.4.16 Reply
  2. Carmen wrote:

    I haven’t read the book so I can’t contribute in that sense, but I hate when authors come up with a solution that wasn’t even there from the start. I don’t think it’s lazy; I think it’s a cheap trick, a gimmick, whatever you want to call it. Movies are spoofed for less than that. Authors who do that simply lose my respect. That said, I can tolerate a predictable ending only when I want to know how the author wraps up the story; in other words, if the explanations satisfy me.

    Posted 2.2.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Gimmick…that’s a good word for this one! And probably better than the one I chose to use!

      Posted 2.4.16 Reply
  3. I read this book last year but I will be totally honest and say that it lost me in the middle and I started to read fast (skimming through for a while). I didn’t think the ending was very believable and it didn’t help my feelings towards the plot.

    So all in all, I’m happy you enjoyed it but it just didn’t cut it for me. And if another title mentions Gone Girl or Girl on the Train (aacck!) I will throw it against the wall. Just kidding, I’m not violent towards books, even I don’t love them 🙂

    Posted 2.2.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      I didn’t think I would like this one, but just couldn’t stop reading – ha! And – yes, I’m with you on the GG and GOTT comparisons! Hey, publishers, just stop it already!!

      Posted 2.4.16 Reply
  4. Trish wrote:

    I haven’t read this one but I agree that a great ending is one that blows you away but doesn’t come out of thin air. I’m reluctant to mention other titles because I never know if that’s a spoiler or not, but one that really floored me was Before I Go to Sleep–you know there’s something crazy going on from the beginning but it’s hard to imagine just what. The Girl on the Train was like this for me as well–though I know lots said it was anticlimactic for them. So?

    Posted 2.3.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      I know – it’s hard to talk about other titles in this context. But, I figure if you haven’t read or seen Gone Girl by now, you’re either not going to or it’s probably already been spoiled for you.

      Girl on the Train was too predictable for me…I guessed it pretty early on.

      Posted 2.4.16 Reply
  5. Michelle wrote:

    I guess I feel differently about the ending because I guessed how it had to end. I “knew” that she wasn’t related to either family; don’t ask me how. It was total gut instinct on that one. Occam’s razor then would dictate that the only other explanation was that there had to have been a switch somewhere. The ending didn’t bother me because it was the only explanation which made sense given the facts we knew. I can see how you could consider it a cop-out, and yes, the last-minute addition of a key character does lack foresight on Bussi’s part. I think I was okay with it all because there were other things that bothered me more – like Grand-Duc’s suicide.

    Posted 2.16.16 Reply
  6. Julie wrote:

    I agree 100% with you and it was too bad because the writing was good, drew me in, interesting people, etc.

    Posted 5.26.17 Reply
  7. Rachel O'Reilly wrote:

    Utter rubbish. Not a compelling enough story to keep you turning the pages. Lazy writing and very cliched. I have abandoned it at 40% and guessed at 20% that the child would be someone totally different. Thankfully I read your spoiler alert which has just confirmed what I suspected so very glad I saved myself the time reading it. Absolutely agree about the blurb billing a book as the next gone girl/girl on the train. Gone girl was a fine beach read. Girl on the Train hammy and predictable.

    Posted 3.17.18 Reply

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