Thursday, June 26, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Last Sentences

Hello all!  So, after watching every other Booktuber/book blogger do Top 5 Wednesdays, I've decided that I want to join in on the fun, as well.

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, and you can check out the full list of those who participate in the Goodreads group.

Today's topic is Top 5 Last Sentences.  No concluding sentence immediately jumped into my mind, so I perused my favorite books, and this is what I came up with, in no particular order:

"His hand closed automatically around the fake Horcrux, but in spite of everything, in spite of the dark and twisting path he saw stretching ahead for himself, in spite of the final meeting with Voldemort he knew must come, whether in a month, in a year, or in ten, he felt his heart lift at the thought that there was still one last golden day of peace left to enjoy with Ron and Hermione." (J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)  

It's no secret that I love the Harry Potter series.  It holds my entire childhood and carries so much nostalgia for me.  Not to mention that it's just an amazing story.

Most people who love Harry Potter will remember the last sentence of the seventh book, but I prefer this ending.  Half-Blood Prince is an unremittingly dark tome with one of the most shocking character deaths of the series.  It would have been fitting and expected for it to end on that note, as well.  However, it ends with Harry holding onto hope, grasping that last shred of peace before war breaks loose.  I really love that juxtaposition, and it is one of the reasons I love Harry so much.

"When Margaret grows up she will have a daughter, who is to be Peter's mother in turn; and thus it will go on, so long as children are gay and innocent and heartless." (J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan)

There are many reasons I like this last line, but the main aspect that sticks with me is that Barrie chooses to use the word "heartless" to refer to the purity and innocence of children, painting it as being almost selfish.  It's unexpected and beautiful.

"Deeply, he bowed, touching the ground, before him who was sitting motionlessly, whose smile reminded him of everything he had ever loved in his life, what had ever been valuable and holy to him in his life." (Herman Hesse's Siddhartha)

I have always connected to Siddhartha and the journey of the two main characters.  And the last sentence is deeply satisfying to me as they both end their search for enlightenment.

"At that, as if it had been the signal he waited for, Newland Archer got up slowly and walked back alone to his hotel."
 (Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence)

For this entire novel, you are waiting for Newland to act decisively.  But when the opportunity arrives for him to gain what he always truly wanted, he walks away.  This ending was unexpected and frustrating, but I also found it to be so true.  It left things undone in such a realistic way that I found it wholly satisfying.

"We each owe a death, there are no exceptions, I know that, but sometimes, oh God, the Green Mile is so long." (Stephen King's The Green Mile)


Putting aside how wonderful of a book The Green Mile is, this sentence stuck out to me because of its imagery.  Imagining life as that death-row walk from cell block to execution just gets under my skin and carries the kind of disturbing beauty that I adore.

So these are my top 5 last sentences.  I'd love to know what your favorite last sentences are, too, so please leave them in the comments below.