I thought about posting this question on Facebook, but realized it’s a little more involved than that format allows.

Here’s the thing; today I’m finishing up a novel (reading) in which the main character dies in the end. I didn’t know this was how the book ended when I began reading it. It’s a book by one of my favorite authors, about one of my favorite historical events of the early 19th century. The book is based on the life of a real individual and the storyline follows that life faithfully.

About halfway through reading the book, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, I became so interested in this individual that I googled him and learned the end of his story–and realized by the dates in the front of the book that the novel I was reading would cover his death.  

Ruh Roh, said Scooby-Doo.

By that time I was so invested, and the writing was so good, and I was so deeply attached to this character, I decided to finish it anyway.

Now, with a few pages to go, it’s breaking my heart. I can read about a page at a time and then have to put the book down, my heart wrenched with what I know is about to happen to this character. How can this book have even a satisfying ending? Will this character achieve any of the inward goals he’s had all along, the longings of his soul that have never been fulfilled? Or will it only be in death, somehow, that he finds fulfillment? I can see that as a possible outcome.

I’ll come back later today, or whenever I can bring myself to finish this story and say good-bye to this wonderful character, and share my thoughts in the comment section.

Qs4U: Would you read a novel if you knew going in that the MC dies in the end? Have you ever felt cheated when a main character died at the end of a novel, and you didn’t see it coming? 

In answer to that last one, I certainly have. In answer to the former, if the writing was good, if it sang for me, if the setting and story world were richly drawn and fascinating, then yes, I probably would.

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