Behind the scenes, we wenches have animated discussions, and
after reading a particularly disappointing book, one of us brought up
this topic. "Do you want all your endings to be satisfying? Or can you
handle an ambiguous ending as Gone, Girl? What makes for a satisfying
Mary Jo: A lot depends on what kind of book it is. For a romance, I want my happy ending! I want the characters to have made a commitment, and I want to believe that they are right for each other and they have enough love and ability to deal with life’s challenges that they’ll be together “till death do they part.”
“Satisfying” is a different measure. “Happily ever after” is what make romances end satisfactorily, but other genres, such as mystery and science fiction and fantasy and women’s fiction, are different.