Elyse Marie I don't think there was really any other way to end the novel other than to show growth and progress in both Leigh's relationships. Throughout the entire novel, we don't see her open up much to anyone except her sister, she even holds Gary away at times. She makes it impossible to understand what's going on with her as well as to relate with her as a person. However, when you start learning about her childhood, then you understand why she is the way she is and how she's motivated. Because the story is all about Leigh's relationship with her daughter, it only makes sense to end it on a place where it seems they are working things out and are better able to communicate with people. If the accident had never happened, they may never have had that opportunity. And, personally, I thought the novel didn't end "tied up in a bow" in the traditional sense, but it felt pretty tied up to me.