Updated: Sep 10, 2021
By Chris Whitaker
A Captivating and Emotionally Intense Character-driven Novel
Thirty years ago, Vincent King, 15, was joyriding and accidentally struck and killed seven-year-old Sissy Radley, the younger sister of his girlfriend Star Radley. His best friend Walker, gave the testimony that sent him to prison. After serving thirty years, Vincent is coming home.
Duchess Day Radley, a self-proclaimed outlaw, is full of anger. The kids at school make fun of her—her clothes are torn, her hair is a mess. At 13, she is the sole caretaker of both her younger brother Robin, 5, and her alcoholic, drug-rattled single mother, Star.
When Star is found murdered shortly after his release, all evidence points directly to Vincent King. But Walker doesn’t believe that Vincent would have killed Star. He is struggles to find the truth, while Vincent is saying nothing and is now back in jail. Duchess bravely tries to care for Robin, but is convinced that trouble follows her wherever she goes.
We Begin at the End is an intricate and intriguing dramatic tale. Chris Whitaker’s dark and slowly unfolding story will captivate you with its emotional intensity and character-driven narrative.
Walker and Duchess are both broken figures struggling in their own different ways to make sense of things that have no reason. Walker is quiet, set in his ways and pensive, while Duchess is raw, angry, and full of spunk and determination. She is wise beyond her years as she takes care of her brother to the best of her ability, and stands up to anyone who tries to get in her way. She only wants what is best for Robin, and will to do whatever it takes to give him a good life. We Begin at the End is a complex and thought-provoking novel. Worth the read!
Whitaker lives in the United Kingdom with his wife and three children. Previous books include Tall Oaks and All the Wicked Girls.
The audiobook was narrated by George Newbern, whose performance was commendable. Newbern attempts subtle distinctions with the voice of various characters.
Thanks to Netgalley for an advance audio copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher Macmillan Audio
Published March 2, 2021
Narrated George Newbern