This weekend I read the last book in the Bailey Flanigan series by Karen Kingsbury, Loving.
I was dreading even reading this book because I could feel the changes the author was making with the story. The happy ending that I envisioned was slowly losing it's possibility. I held out hope until the last couple chapter which I read in a blur because I was crying mournful tears. Instead of the joy and hope I thought I would be feeling, I felt pain.
Through the whole series I got the impression that there was only one true ending. But when Bailey had a heartbreaking thought that Cody was there at her wedding as she married a different man, I lost it. This was not the way it was supposed to end. I think that most of Karen Kingsbury's readers feel the same way. We could all see how it was supposed to end and we were let down.
Instead of feeling the contentment I expected, I felt lost. I kept expecting Bailey to not go through with the wedding. I feel like there should be more, but Bailey married and now there's no hope for her and Cody anymore.
I almost feel like writing my own ending to the story, where Bailey and Cody see they can't go on without each other. I see them telling each other all of the pain and feelings they both had. I see a reconciliation, an embrace and tears. But not the tears of good-bye but tears of happiness as they move on to live their lives together.
Don't misunderstand, Karen Kingsbury is a wonderful author. And if I hadn't been led to believe that Cody and Bailey would end up together, I would probably appreciate how she wrapped up the story. But there's no way I can be content with the ending. This will probably cause me to be more cautious when I'm reading her books, because I feel she didn't fulfill the promise she seemed to make clear in the beginning stages of Bailey and Cody's relationship.
That's one of the major aspects of writing, when you make the reader's a promise then you need to fulfill that promise. In an unexpected way, yes, but fulfilled nonetheless. The promise that was made clear to me was that Bailey and Cody belonged to each other, and sadly the story came to a tragic end.
So the bottom line? I was highly disappointed with Loving. It wasn't a terrible book but it didn't fulfill it's promises.