We Begin at the End

Chris Whitaker

There are two kinds of families: the ones we are born into and the ones we create.

Walk has never left the coastal California town where he grew up. He may have become the chief of police, but he’s still trying to heal the old wound of having given the testimony that sent his best friend, Vincent King, to prison decades before. Now, thirty years later, Vincent is being released.

Duchess is a thirteen-year-old self-proclaimed outlaw. Her mother, Star, grew up with Walk and Vincent. Walk is in overdrive trying to protect them, but Vincent and Star seem bent on sliding deeper into self-destruction. Star always burned bright, but recently that light has dimmed, leaving Duchess to parent not only her mother but her five-year-old brother. At school the other kids make fun of Duchess―her clothes are torn, her hair a mess. But let them throw their sticks, because she’ll throw stones. Rules are for other people. She’s just trying to survive and keep her family together.

A fortysomething-year-old sheriff and a thirteen-year-old girl may not seem to have a lot in common. But they both have come to expect that people will disappoint you, loved ones will leave you, and if you open your heart it will be broken. So when trouble arrives with Vincent King, Walk and Duchess find they will be unable to do anything but usher it in, arms wide closed.

Chris Whitaker has written an extraordinary novel about people who deserve so much more than life serves them. At times devastating, with flashes of humor and hope throughout, it is ultimately an inspiring tale of how the human spirit prevails and how, in the end, love―in all its different guises―wins.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5) I have the unpopular opinion on this one because everyone seemed to love it. It was good but it didn’t wow me. It definitely hasn’t stuck with me since. I could put it down and it didn’t gnaw at me to go back and listen.

Duchess, our main protagonist, seemed so young to me. She was 13-14 but acted so much younger. I have a 14 yo and she seems so much older so maybe that is the difference between their personalities. Her life was heartbreaking. She filled in the spaces where her mother lacked and was the best mother-figure for her brother. She had grit that was heart-warming to hear and I just wanted her and her brother to be happy.

The ending was amazing. It was brilliantly planned and executed. Each little bit of info brought the wow factor that had me impressed. I wish I could’ve had that throughout! I didn’t understand one aspect of the end, but that goes in to Duchess’ personality more than anything. It didn’t change the ending at all.

I recommend listening to the audio on this one. George Newborn’s voice was perfect for the story, with just the right amount of inflection and more. When the good stuff hit, he had me bugging me eyes out with disbelief. I loved it!

Content Summary: Excessive F words (probably 100+), abortion, sex abuse, arson, murder. The details were not descriptive in the majority of the content. I believe most adult readers will be able to read this.

Thank you to Macmillan Audio for the gifted ALC in exchange for an honest review.

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 


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