Monday, March 27, 2017
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
This is a short, twisted, poisonous little story in the best of ways.
It's a quotidian enough situation: meeting the boyfriend's parents for the first time. It's awkward and kind of nerve-wracking. But the narrator of our story has another thing on her mind ... she's thinking of ending things. Does she love Jake? Sure. Does she want to be with him forever? Not really. But every time she screws up the courage to start the agonizing process of breaking up, she remembers all of the good things about their relationship, and retreats.
Now, she's stuck in a car with him as they traverse the snowy countryside on their way to Dinner with The Parents. Not an ideal place or time for a breakup. And then there's the matter of the phone calls to her cell phone from her own number. The calls with the same message over and over and over.
Once they arrive at the parents' farmhouse, the strangeness of the situation only intensifies. Jake's parents are more than a little odd. And why is Jake acting so strange after dinner? Why does he want to get slushies in a blizzard, or stop at a huge, rambling high school building in the middle of nowhere?
Interspersed with the whispers of neighbors and friends, gossiping after the fact, this is a taut razor-wire narrative. I guessed the ending fairly early on, but the twists and turns made me doubt myself and find new theories to explore. This is a book that is all about the journey, not the destination. An eerie exploration of the psyche, identity, and what makes us who we are. I'm Thinking of Ending Things is a chilled dagger traced along your spine, causing your heart to speed up and your guts to squirm uncomfortably. It's wonderful and terrifying at the same time. Try it--what's the worst that could happen?