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The Perpetual Ending [Hardcover]

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Item description for The Perpetual Ending by Kristen Den Hartog...

Reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm's darkly magical tales, The Perpetual Ending tells an enchanting story about devoted sisters and their world of opposites, doppelgangers and ghosts.

Jane and Eugenie Ingrams are mirror-image twins, two halves of a whole, each understanding her world through the other. But their parents are less perfectly matched. When the couple separates and their father urges the girls to return with him to their rural home, Eugenie agrees for the sake of her sister---an ultimately tragic concession.

Years later, Jane works as a writer in Vancouver creating rich, fabulist tales with her lover Simon, a gifted illustrator. Estranged from her parents and haunted by her secret family history, Jane finds solace in these stories of extraordinary characters---a girl who trades her laughter for a scalpful of cobwebs; a lonely child with unquenchable thirst; an orphan with the gift, or curse, of prophecy. Within the stories lie clues to Jane's past, of which Simon knows nothing.

At once wondrous and psychologically compelling, The Perpetual Ending is an exploration of love and artistry that shows the world in all of its grotesqueness and beauty---and uncovers the surprising ways we can arrive at the heart of one story through the telling of others.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   346
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.24" Width: 6.3" Height: 0.99"
Weight:   1.12 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2003
Publisher   MacAdam/Cage
ISBN  1931561257  
ISBN13  9781931561259  

Availability  0 units.

More About Kristen Den Hartog

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Kristen den Hartog is a novelist and memoir writer. Her previous novels are "Water Wings", "The Perpetual Ending", which was a finalist for the Toronto Book Award, and "Origin of Haloes". "The Occupied Garden: A Family Memoir of War-torn Holland "was written with her sister, Tracy Kasaboski, and was a Toronto Globe and Mail" Notable Book of 2008. She also writes a blog, Blog of Green Gables (http: //, about her experiences reading children's literature with her daughter. She lives in Toronto with her family.

Kristen Den Hartog was born in 1965.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > British
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Women > Sisters
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Canadian > General
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Canadian > Canadian
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Canadian > Women Writers > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Perpetual Ending?

Tell me a story, spin me a tale  Aug 24, 2003
This lyrical and moving tale is overflowing with extraordinary images and the intense connection of twin sisters, who are mirror images of each other. Jane and Eugenie Ingrams are raised on the magic of fairy tales, stories spun by their mother every evening at bedtime, as she sits in darkness in their room and they are borne away on the delicate wings of fancy, into the world of slumber. Their mother, Lucy, as beautiful as a goddess with wild red hair flowing down her back, is visible only in the light of the moon on these evenings. Recreating centuries-old fables and myths, Lucy offers her girls a world of infinite possibilities. Even though Jane and Eugenie look exactly alike and are best friends, their personalities are the exact opposite, giving their relationship an extraordinary balance, their personal yin and yang.

Their early years are spent in rural Canada, the twins, two halves of a whole, enjoy whole days exploring the beauty of nature, inventing their own world. When their parents separate, that world is shattered and Lucy moves with the twins to Toronto, a city bursting with people and constant racket, the quiet of the countryside a distant memory. Lucy has distant hopes of a career as an artist, taking night classes in painting. In Toronto, their standard of living has declined markedly, their few possessions from yard sales and junk stores. Lucy's elementary paintings decorate the otherwise barren walls, a variety of still life arrangements.

But Jane desperately misses her father, forgetting about their parents' fights that lasted hours, ending only with the dawn and mutual exhaustion. When their father visits, Jane is loathe to release him, begging to return to Vancouver with him. Finally, Jane prevails, coercing her sister into coming along as well. Eugenie agrees to accompany them, a fateful decision that will affect all their lives.

Written in narrative form, Jane speaks to her twin, gazing back over the early years of their childhood, reliving memories both cherished and painful. Now grown, Jane has fallen deeply in love with Simon, a kind man who generously shares everything with her, his dreams, his fears, his past. In exchange, Jane tells Simon lies, refusing to speak about her family or explain why she is estranged from them. In fact, he thinks Jane has no family. Jane has written a series of fanciful fables, in partnership with Simon, each containing a small remnant of her truth. Simon lavishly illustrates her fairy tales and the elegant books are an immediate success. When Jane is called home in an emergency, she leaves without ever telling Simon the truth of her past. She leaves without Simon.

This is a story of belonging and not belonging, of love and loss, of painful self-examination bred of courage. Redemption is possible for Jane, but only she can take the first step. As Jane spins ethereal fables of Pirouette, of Millicent and the Thousand Pennies, of Dulcimer-Gossamer, the vivid images reflect Jane's unconscious quest for healing, constricted by the fears that overwhelm her reality. A virtual Pandora's Box of imagination, these magical stories spill out like a handful of sparkling jewels, each exquisite by itself. Jane's own history and grief fold gently around her fables, protecting the small fragments of her unconscious, parables that cry to be heard, to be understood.

With a deft hand, the author guides Jane through the bottomless grief and guilt of her past, toward a real future. The all too human flaws of den Hartog's characters render them imperfect and too often blinded by selfishness, but, as each tale plants a tiny seed of hope, Jane's heart follows the path home that will open the door to forgiveness and finally, belonging. Luan Gaines/2003.

Beautiful Novel  Mar 17, 2003
The Perpetual Ending is a beautiful novel, exquisitely written. I would recommend this book to anybody who takes pleasure in a well told story. I got lost in the story and the characters. The Perpetual ending is made up of two parts, each one a love letter from the narrator, Jane. One letter is to Jane's twin and the other to her lover, Simon. Through the letters the reader learns about Jane's troubled childhood and her coping mechanisms. The characters are wonderfully developed. This is one of the top ten books I have ever read.

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