The last lines of a novel are often the most powerful. After you have read several hundred pages, fought off dragons and Dark Lords, witnessed deaths and breakups and excitement and tragedy, the last few words of a story are often what stay with you. I started this feature to highlight some of my favourite last lines and to share them with you, my fellow readers and lovers of words. All of the ones that I am going to feature have impacted me in some way, whether they simply caused me to burst into tears, or they hold a much deeper meaning. I promise there will be no plot-related spoilers! I hope you all enjoy this new feature of mine, and that you’ll take the time to share some of your Famous Last Words with me.
“I am haunted by humans.”
I could write essays about The Book Thief, but I’ll spare you all for now because that is not the purpose of this post. I love this line because it’s so chilling. In case you didn’t know, The Book Thief is narrated by Death, and this line is said by him. It’s a great twist on the fact that lots of humans are haunted by death, whether they’re scared of dying or if they know people who have died. But, if Death was a real person or entity, who is more haunting? Humans, who have started wars, committed genocide and murder, tortured their own kind? And yet at the same time they have done some truly incredible things. Humans really are quite haunting.
“She always was a funny little bug.”
I thought this was the perfect ending to a perfect book. I especially liked the use of the word “always”, because Tinkerbell was always there for Tiger Lily. This line is so affectionate; it makes me want to cry.
“At last, he allows himself the wonderful luxury of hope.”
None of the teenagers (or “Unwinds”) have had any reason to hope before, and I think this is a brilliant way to end such a dark story. Hope is always the little light at the end of the tunnel, and these characters had been through so much, had lost lives and limbs and friends and family, so I think this small glimmer of hope is well deserved.