Not for those who dislike ambiguous endings. I almost punched something at the end of this book.
I still don't love the ending, but after listening to...moreNot for those who dislike ambiguous endings. I almost punched something at the end of this book.
I still don't love the ending, but after listening to an interview with author, I guess I understand why he left things open-ended.
Anyhow, the basics: the "Rapture" has occurred around the world. However, unlike most rapture predictors suggest, millions of people of all religious creeds are taken - not just professed Christians.
The story focuses on the reaction to this event in the small Midwest town of Mapleton, in particular one family - mom Laurie, dad Kevin, daughter Jill, and son Tom. No one from their family disappeared, but each of them lost friends - Jill, in fact, lost a friend who was sitting right next to her watching youtube videos.
The novel feels very much like how we would react to such an event. A few weeks, maybe a month, of high alert, grief, and fear. But three years later, things have fallen into a "new normal." It's human nature to try to maintain the status quo and make ourselves comfortable and give ourselves reasons and stories for why tragedy happens.
Each member of the family tries to find their own way to understand their loss. There are some very funny moments, and some heartbreaking ones, and some that just make you want to shake the person (Laurie mostly). But that makes the characters feel human.
However, the ending was very ambiguous. Yes, you could say it's the only time in the book where the characters find life rather than losing the people they care about - so thematically it fits, but I guess I like to know that characters I care about are all right in the end - but you don't get that "closure" here - again, much like real life.
In the interview, the author talked about how he wanted to use the rapture as a metaphor for death - after all, aren't we all going to disappear at some point? So, it is interesting to think about how we daily live with loss and death, even while living our ordinary lives.
The author also said that when he began, he planned to write a comic novel, but realized over the course of writing it that it had turned into a tragedy.
All in all, characters that really pulled me in, just felt like the story meandered and ultimately didn't lead anywhere . . . I think.