Voyage or Destination? Quest or Reward? Learning or Report Card? Life or Funeral? Good advice says Live Today Today - A life well lived is its own reward. Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult makes me believe the rules should be different for lives lived in fiction.
Real people are subject to unknowable forces: tragic (even fatal) accidents, chance meetings, and extraordinary luck. On a drive to the store, the brakes can fail, leading to death, crashing into a future spouse, or a rich insurance settlement. In real life, one never knows.
But a novel is different. The author is God. So when a novel ends in an arbitrary way, we readers feel disappointed. We even have a technical term for this: deus ex machina - God from a machine. We don't like it.
Thus, Handle with Care has wonderful characters who live through with the challenges of osteogenesis imperfecta - brittle bone disease. Along the journey they examine the issues of medical malpractice and abortion. The journey is thought provoking and enlightening. However, the ending is arbitrary and nihilistic, and, for me, this spoils the journey.
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