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!
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?