Just a middle-brow reader who loves a good story, recipe or how-to.
The End of Bliss is the absorbing tale of one couple’s experience of the Great Depression. From the very first page I knew that late nights were in store, as I became more and more invested in finding out what choices would be made and what the consequences would be. I did, however, have to take a break after the first chapter to analyze why I was having emotional difficulties with the reading. This is not usual so early on in a book, but I realized that the story line was just hitting a bit too close to home, bringing up struggles I’ve experienced in the current economy and reminding me of the foreclosures that friends may be facing.
Rhonda Ringler Cutler has crafted a story of characters going through a time of struggle and change, and the results are wonderfully, achingly bittersweet. The characters are more understandable than relatable, and not necessarily likeable. The transformations that they and their relationships go through are riveting, though not always pleasant. The only word I can think of to describe the “marital relations” and extra-marital activities is dismal. Sex is, in general, a dismal thing in this book, but this suits the story and fits the characters.
As this is the first novel by Rhonda Ringler Cutler, I look forward to seeing what else she has in store.
My (signed) copy was won through the Good Reads First Reads program.