Shortlisted for the Young Lions Fiction Award 2015
Set on a remote Scottish island, this is the compelling story of one family’s struggle to cope with a vanishing way of life
On Eilean Fìor, a small island off the north-west coast of Scotland with twenty-eight inhabitants, the McClouds run a faltering guesthouse. A family business, it is expected that one of the three children will eventually take over. But Barry, Flora and Trevor all have their own ideas.
In this nuanced and moving debut novel, Andrew Ladd weaves together a series of conjoined narratives which follow each of the McClouds as they struggle to find a balance between their feelings of obligation and their desire for personal freedom. At once a lyrically haunting and unforgettable elegy for a lost world, What Ends is also a subtle family saga about change and regret – about the difference between feeling one is trapped and the reality of being so.
What Ends is about the ambiguity of the bonds that relate us to people and places and bring meaning to our lives… Andrew 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’
‘Impressive… Ladd’s writing [is] precise in its descriptions of landscape and unspoken emotion… beautifully handled’
– Sunday Telegraph
'Andrew Ladd draws the reader into their outwardly small lives to show layer after layer of complexity… a heady read'
– Daily Mail
‘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. And surely every reader will want to visit Eilean Fior; happily we can in these beautiful pages. A sparkling and eloquent debut.’
– Margot Livesey
‘Ladd’s prose is simple, lyrical, given free rein to explore a family saga that feels a lot fuller than might be expected from a 250-page novel… touching and precise’
– The Skinny
'This is no debut but a masterwork, an aborbing micro-saga whose completion we mourn.'
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