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The Illegal > Question #6: What did you think of the ending? *contains spoilers*

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

The ending of The Illegal is action-packed. After the climax, the reader is told what happens to each of the main characters. Share your thoughts about the ending, as well as what you think about what happens to the characters.


message 2: by Emily (new)

Emily Burns (emilymelissabee) | 124 comments Mod
I just love the idea of a marathon runner opening up a bakery, to be honest. :) I was very happy with the ending for Keita and Candace.

I am very curious as to where Lula ended up, and whether we have finished hearing her story. I am almost certain we haven't heard the last of Viola Hill, as she is too magnetic a character to leave out of future novels!


message 3: by Susan (last edited Mar 01, 2016 08:01AM) (new)

Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
I was happy, too, Emily, with the ending for Keita and Candace. Many of the characters had happy endings. But I thought everything was tied up too quickly and a little too neatly. And I'm sorry to say that I found the final showdown in Rocco Calder's office to be somewhat unbelievable and hokey. I hate to say that I don't think that sort of action scene is Lawrence Hill's strength. Much of the dialogue just wasn't believable.

I'm glad that Rocco Calder was appointed as Prime Minister and that the former Prime Minister was sent to jail. But I'm sure it would take years for Freedom State to be a good place to live. Any country with as many problems as it had could not change very quickly. So while it seems like Keita, Candace and Charity were set to have a happy life, I don't think it would be so easy. The problems of Africtown seem insurmountable, even if they made a start with running water and electricity.

I had similar feelings about the ending of The Book of Negroes. It just seemed unbelievable to me that (view spoiler)


message 4: by Dana (new)

Dana (dkmckelvey) | 51 comments I agree, I felt everything tied up too rushed and easily. I would have also liked to see where Lula ended up, but mostly how Iverna was. I felt Keita owed her a lot, and it would have been nice to see that. The showdown was definitely "hokey."

From all of the discussions, it seems Hill's strength is in his character development, and maybe his weaknesses include his endings. But he is a great descriptive story teller!


message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
Dana wrote: "I agree, I felt everything tied up too rushed and easily. I would have also liked to see where Lula ended up, but mostly how Iverna was. I felt Keita owed her a lot, and it would have been nice to ..."
Your last paragraph is a great sum-up, Dana. I agree.

We did learn that Ivernia funded Keita's bakeshop, so I think they will have an ongoing relationship. We also learn she had been cleared of the threat of entering assisted care. So I'm sure she'll be fine, but perhaps a few short words between Keita and Ivernia would have been more satisfying.


message 6: by Dana (new)

Dana (dkmckelvey) | 51 comments I think it would have made me happier for sure :)


message 7: by Allison (last edited Mar 01, 2016 10:19AM) (new)

Allison | 396 comments As you're all talking about a bakeshop, I'm thinking to myself ... bakeshop? what bakeshop? It's almost as if I skipped that part somehow. But now as I sit here thinking about it a bit more, I seem to recall it. I guess that speaks volumes though, ie, not exactly the most memorable ending. But I definitely agree with Dana on two counts: I would have loved a final scene with Ivernia, and Lawrence Hill is a very talented storyteller who definitely knows how to create wonderful characters.


message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
Allison wrote: "As you're all talking about a bakeshop, I'm thinking to myself ... bakeshop? what bakeshop? It's almost as if I skipped that part somehow. But now as I sit here thinking about it a bit more, I seem..."
Remember the madeleines that Keita had with his family in Zantoroland? He wanted to serve the best madeleines in his bakery in Freedom State, as a way to remember his homeland.

It was a busy ending, so I'm not surprised that some of the details got lost for you, Allison.


message 9: by Maureen (new)

Maureen B. | 212 comments Ah, I especially remember the madeleines because they're one of my favourite (and rare) treats. I thought to myself 'now this is a place I have to visit, even if it is imaginary!'

I rather liked the ending, even if it was a little too happy-ever-after. After reading a few books where the end loomed forever grey, The Illegal was a pleasant surprise. Even if, as already mentioned, it's a fair distance from reality; perhaps it's better to hope than not?

With thanks to our book club, what I appreciated especially was being 'forced' into reading an author I had long intended to read. It was a good story and I'm looking forward to reading more.


message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
Maureen wrote: "Ah, I especially remember the madeleines because they're one of my favourite (and rare) treats. I thought to myself 'now this is a place I have to visit, even if it is imaginary!'

I rather liked ..."

So glad you enjoyed the ending, Maureen. We could all definitely use more happy endings! We're so glad you're making such an effort to read our selections each month.

It will be interesting to see how The Illegal does in the upcoming Canada Reads competition. My guess is that due to its subject matter, it will be hard to beat.


message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan | 130 comments Late into this discussion so most has been said. I also enjoyed the happy ending ... even though it was a bit far fetched that everything was so tidy ... and loved the quirkiness of Keita opening a bakery. I also agree that there could be another story based on Viola.


message 12: by Allison (last edited Mar 02, 2016 07:02AM) (new)

Allison | 396 comments Susan wrote: "Late into this discussion so most has been said. I also enjoyed the happy ending ... even though it was a bit far fetched that everything was so tidy ... and loved the quirkiness of Keita opening a..."

Late in is definitely okay, Susan! We're glad that you're following along right to the very end. I have no doubt that there is always a market for happy endings to books, as many readers will attest.


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