I finished Gone Girl. It was so twisty and engrossing I didn’t even look up to check the football games I was “watching” (for the record, Notre Dame won and Syracuse lost). I plan to recommend it to some friends so that I can discuss the ending with someone – I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending. Ending a book is terribly hard – it’s still the part of my novel that I’m most unsure about and usually my first question to any of my trusted readers is a quickly blurted “What did you think of the ending?”
Three of my favorite period dramas are such because they get the ending so perfect – and all three were written by Sandy Welch. 2009’s Emma has to be my favorite ending to any Jane Austen adaptation. So many period dramas cut from proposal to church exiting. Here we get to see events during the engagement, Emma confronting Frank Churchill, a honeymoon, and assurance that Mr. Woodhouse really will be alright. Ms. Welch’s Jane Eyre is also a favorite because of its delightful reunion, especially necessary in a story like Jane Eyre that is so dark and unhappy for quite a long time. I didn’t realize how perfect this ending was until I saw 2011’s Jane Eyre, which has many wonderful qualities but a very abrupt and unsatisfying reunion. And 2004’s North and South doesn’t show us a proposal or a wedding, but bookends the story so exquisitely we sigh with contentment, symbolism and the gorgeous score. It could not be improved upon, except maybe showing Mrs. Thornton’s face upon arrival in Milton. Isn’t it a pity that 1995’s Pride and Prejudice denied us Mrs. Bennett’s reaction to Lizzy and Mr. Darcy’s engagement? Thank God Jane wrote it.
And since I’m talking about endings, and I wrote an updated version of Persuasion, I will say a few words about Persuasion (2007). If you have a letter to deliver to your dream girl, telling her you’re waiting to hear whether you will enter her house this evening or never, probably don’t give it to your disabled friend to deliver, especially if he’s already late for another appointment. The music in this version is lovely, and that’s all I’ll say about that.
I desperately wanted my Captain Wentworth to write The Letter to my Anne Elliot, but was worried he would come off as passive aggressive- they are at the same party after all, and there is no reason why Jack can’t approach Savannah in our day and age. I hope, if you read the book, you’ll find the tiny reasons I gave for a written declaration sufficient.