What do we look for from an epilogue?
We like to find out how any remaining loose ends are resolved, and we like to find out how characters we have grown to care about (or not) end up. But above everything else, we just want a satisfying and fulfilling conclusion to the story.
For me, the events of an epilogue and the summation it offers can definitely have an effect on my overall lasting impression of a book, so its importance cannot be underestimated.
I have found some epilogues to be very informative, and to have added great value to the quality of a book. As a book lover, for me there are few things better than an amazing story which I connect with, that is also backed up by a wonderful and satisfactory ending. It is what five-star reads are made of.
However, I find that some authors can underestimate this, and sometimes sacrifice quality storytelling in their epilogues in favour of a happy ending, which often don’t feel very believable in the context of the book.
We all love a happy ending, right? I do, too, but only when it feels justifiable.
For example, so far this year I have read books which end with death, murder, or some other kind of tragedy. But then you reach the epilogue and everything seems alright again, almost as if those events had never happened. I also don’t like it when the tying up of all the loose ends feels rushed and not properly thought through.
It is good to read about characters moving on. It is good to see characters’ lives change for the better after the events of the book. But it needs to be believable, and true to the tone and the context of all the narrative which has gone before. Many epilogues achieve this, although I feel others can be written with a bit more care, as well as a consideration for its audience.
So overall, I think the epilogue on one of most important parts of a book. It helps create a lasting impression, and as we know, a poor ending can often undo a lot of the author’s good work! Therefore, for me it is crucial that they hit the right notes.
What do you think about epilogues? How important do you think they are to your feelings on a book? I will be really interested to hear your thoughts!
Happy reading 🙂