by Chris Whitaker
Narrator: George Newbern
Length: 10 hours and 30 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.3x
Chris Whitaker's We Begin at the End looks at families—the ones we are born into and the ones we create.
Right. Wrong. Life is lived somewhere in between.
Duchess Day Radley is a thirteen-year-old self-proclaimed outlaw. Rules are for other people. At school the other kids make fun of her—her clothes are torn, her hair a mess. But let them throw their sticks, because she’ll throw stones. Duchess might be a badass, but she’s really just trying to survive. She is the fierce protector of her five-year-old brother, Robin. She is the parent to her mother, Star, a single mom incapable of taking care of herself, let alone her two kids.
Walk has never left the coastal California town where he and Star grew up. He’s the chief of police, trying to keep Cape Haven, with its beautiful bluffs overlooking the sea, not only safe, but safe from becoming a cookie-cutter tourist destination for the rich. But he’s still trying to heal the old wound of having given the testimony that sent his best friend, Vincent King, to prison decades before. And he’s in overdrive protecting Duchess and her brother as their mother slides deeper into self-destruction.
Now, thirty years later, Vincent is being released. As soon as he steps one foot back into his childhood town, trouble arrives. It shows up on Walk’s and Duchess’s doorsteps, and they will be unable to do anything but usher it in, arms wide closed.
Duchess and Walk—and everyone they love and whose hearts they break, who deserve so much more than life serves them—will sear your heart in this extraordinary novel.
Duchess Day Radley is a thirteen-year-old self-proclaimed outlaw, and I needed to know her story, which is how I came to pick up We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker. Narrated by George Newbern I laughed, cried, stomped my feet and lost myself in this story of love and loss.
Hot damn, this was good. It tugs at your heartstrings and stays with you.
This was my first Chris Whitaker novel. I had his named marked on my “authors-to-try” list after some fellow bloggers raved about his previous books. I loved this complex small-town story.
While I am sure this story is equally memorable in book form, I highly recommend listening to George Newbern’s narration. The book lends itself perfectly to audio, and I slipped into the story as George gave each character voice.
Our story begins and ends in Cape Haven.
Walk, the local sheriff looks after the town and his friends. His best friend went to jail thirty years ago for a hit-and-run accident, and he has taken care of Vincent’s childhood sweetheart Star. We learn more about Walk along the way. He is a man who cares and feels too deeply.
Star has never married, suffers from addiction and has two children. Her oldest is thirteen-year-old Duchess Day Radley. Much of the story belongs to Duchess, but the author shares Walk, Star and Vincent’s stories too as they all intertwine.
Duchess Day Radley has had a hard life. Her belly is rarely full and the other kids make fun of her, but she holds her chin up high and takes care of the only thing that matters, her five-year-old brother Robin. Duchess is mother to both Star and Robin.
When Vincent King is released from prison and returns home, trouble follows in his wake. Whitaker shared a story that pulled me in, clutched at my heart, and held me to the end.
I loved Duchess and Robin. We get a glimpse into their life with Star and see the trouble she brings them, but also moments of love. The story begins and ends in this small-town, but we’ll travel to Montana and meet many characters along the way.
The author will expose characters’ flaws, introduce villains, and rip out your heart. The characters felt genuine, and the story unfolded with an ebb and flow that endeared me to them. I adored Duchess and admired her strength as we shared her joy and sorrow.
For fans of coming of age stories, mysteries, and character driven tales about the people we call family regardless of blood.A rich, heartfelt tale with memorable characters that rise from the pages and wrap around your heart. We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker, narrated by George Newbern #audiobook #NewRelease #MustListen #CaffeinatedFave Click To Tweet
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