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Monday, January 16, 2017

10 Well-Known Books; 10 Last Sentences

Everyone quotes the best opening sentences of novels, but I don’t think people quote the last sentence very often.

I thought I'd do exactly that today. This should be fun. After all, the last sentence is the last thing a reader sees so it also is very important, isn’t it?

I’ve pulled 10 books from my home library. All the books have been hugely popular and critically acclaimed. I’ve jumbled them so they’re not in any special order or grouped by genre.

I’ll give the last line, and, just to make it a game, I’ll give the answers at the bottom of this post. No peeking!

10 Last Sentences

1. “Oh, my girls, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this!”

2. Jenny listened to the mill wheels and wondered what mysteries and miracles, what horrors and joys were being ground out at this very moment, to be served up in times to come.

3. Then, starting home, he walked toward the trees, and under them, leaving behind him the big sky, the whisper of wind voices in the wind-bent wheat.

4. So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

5. I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.

6. “Probably,” Morelli said, “but I give good . . . pizza.”

7. “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

8. “God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world,” whispered Anne softly.

9. And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.

10. Her work was done.

How Did You Do?

The amazing thing about all of these closing sentences is that they are perfect for the novel in which they appear. I try to do the same–crafting the perfect closing sentence in my books.

In Old Enough to Know Better,  the book shown here, I have a closing line that is perfect for this romantic comedy. It fits the premise of the book, the characters, and what happens during the course of the story. This is the closing sentence as it appears in the book:


That’s it. No more than that 1 word in italics.

If that makes you curious, read Old Enough to Know Better and judge for yourself. (Available at Amazon and other ebook sellers as well as in audio at Audible.

The Answers
  1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  2. Phantoms by Dean Koontz
  3. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  6. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
  7. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  8. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  9. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  10. Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Takeaway Truth

To me, all of these sentences sing a siren song that makes me want to read those books again.


  1. I love these choices and the idea behind doing the last sentences. I got a few right, and at least guessed at the author of several.

    1. Good for you, Beth. I like little interesting tidbits about books.

  2. That was fun. Yes, makes me want to revisit these novels.

    1. Hey! Glad you liked it. I love re-reading a book. It's like visiting an old friend.

  3. Lots of fun, even though I didn't do very well. Great choice of books.

    1. Thanks for playing along, Sandy. It's easier when it comes to a book's first sentence, isn't it?

  4. 3 right, 3 more right but were lucky guesses, and totally missed the boat on 4. But point taken, and I love the last sentence of your book.

    1. Why thanks, Jacquie. The last sentence in my book totally fits the plot and characters.

  5. This was interesting and a reminder how important those last lines are as important as the first in my view.

    1. Totally agree. We all want a reader to close the book and sigh, with those last words playing through her/his mind.

  6. Last lines rock! Thanks. That was fun.


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