Praise for What Ends


Winner, AWP 2012 Prize for the Novel
Finalist, New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award 2015
Finalist, Balcones Fiction Prize 2015
Longlisted
, Center for Fiction Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award
Semifinalist, Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award


★★★★ “An impressive family saga… Beautifully handled” —The Sunday Telegraph

“Ladd’s success lies in how he induces the reader to relate to these moments of quiet beauty in the same way we relate to them in life: in the knowledge that they will end.” —Times Literary Supplement

“A poignant and touching melancholy suffuses the small moments in this lyrical… bittersweet coming-of-age tale.” —Publishers Weekly (describing the manuscript version of the novel submitted to the Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award)

“Andrew Ladd draws the reader into [the characters'] outwardly small lives to show layer after layer of complexity… A heady read.” —The Daily Mail

★★★★ “A touching and precise examination of the family dynamic, of how things go when no one quite matches up to the expectations of other people.” —The Skinny

“An intriguing, understated debut.” —We Love This Book (from The Bookseller)

“[A] quietly profound debut.” —David Gutowski, Largehearted Boy (Twitter)

“What Ends is an exquisitely conjured eulogy for a vanishing way of life. Andrew Ladd’s wise and vital voice is descended from Flaubert by way of William Trevor. His sentences mesmerize, beckon as if from another time. This is no debut but a masterwork, an absorbing micro-saga whose completion we mourn. What Ends reminds us of all a novel can be.” —Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn

“Ladd reminds me of a twenty-first-century Neil Gunn in that he has evoked an authentic-seeming Highland/island community, peopled by fine, flawed characters in whom we believe and take a genuine emotional interest… This downbeat tale will also appeal to readers of Thomas Hardy’s elegiac novels; it is an atmospheric and carefully textured tragedy that is hard to shake off once you’ve read it. What Ends is a moving and auspicious debut.” —Kevin MacNeil (The Bottle Imp)

“In What Ends, Ladd plays with our expectations as readers as he reveals multifaceted characters through cleverly intertwining perspectives. The novel quietly builds to a sort of anti-climax — the depopulating of the island — and is worth reading if only to get to the last, poignant section from George’s point of view.” — Full Stop

“Immersing and mellow, with smooth, beautiful writing and characters to savor as they grow and change.” —The Boston Bibliophile 

“To watch the McClouds grow and evolve over the years is both heartwarming and heartbreaking…’What Ends’ is an important missive on the need for letting go, and the joy in letting things pass.” —The Western Herald 

“[A] remarkable, haunting novel.” —Kathryn Davis, author of The Thin PlaceVersailles, and Duplex

“What a lovely writer Andrew Ladd is and what a compelling story he has written about the five members of the McCloud family and their island home. Each of the McClouds is rendered with a vivid complexity and it is that vividness which makes What Ends so truly suspenseful and so deeply satisfying… A sparkling and eloquent debut.” —Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

“[Written] in exquisite prose… What Ends is the rare debut by a writer whose work you know you’ll be reading for many years.” —Ladette Randolph, author of Haven’s Wake 

“Andrew Ladd writes with the care of a poet and the maturity of a seasoned novelist. What Ends is a tribute to a struggling way of life, and an arresting challenge to those who would call that struggle progress. A wonderful book.” —Danielle Trussoni, author of Angelology and Angelopolis

“Like its Hebridean setting, What Ends is landscape of subtle shifts and bright revelations. With a keen eye and a generous heart Andrew Ladd charts the lives of an island’s last family, bringing their remote home from the periphery of world events to the center of our attention as he tells a story inextricably local yet universal at the same time. This quietly sweeping debut is a bittersweet, triumphant champion for all those swept up in the forces of historical change.” —Steve Himmer, author of The Bee-Loud Glade

What Ends is a somewhat elegiacal look at how time and circumstances can change the way of life you planned. It’s a book about being torn between wanting more out of life than what is in front of you or settling for what you have been given. It’s the story of wishes that never quite come true the way you hope, feelings and resentments left unexpressed and unsaid, and the obligations of family… Ladd has created a fictional island that seems very real, full of taciturn yet passionate people, and draws you into their lives. ” —It’s Either Sadness or Euphoria