Cover Image: Tell Me an Ending

Tell Me an Ending

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This original and thought provoking novel centers on the idea that you can have your most horrific or emotional memories erased from your memory — and go on to live a normal life, never knowing you may have had a traumatic event. Finn, Mae, Oscar and William are all characters who are deeply affected by this memory procedure and until a lawsuit with the company, Nepenthe, comes to light, they may not have realized they were affected at all. Noor, who is our fifth character, is a psychologist who works for the company. 

<i>Tell Me An Ending</i> is told from the perspectives of each of the characters and features huge questions and ramifications for each. Some may be having snippets or flashes of their prior life - the memories they wanted suppressed. Others are told they had their memories altered and did they want to regain those memories? Difficult choices for each character and their partners, friends and families. 

I found myself wondering if I would suppress my own emotions or grief, as this novel was very thought provoking. It also held an air of suspense, drama and left a lasting impression.
Was this review helpful?
'What if you didn’t have to live with your worst memories?' This is the question asked. Sci-fi with a dash of BLACK MIRROR,  yes please!! This book has gotten the coveted very few given 5 stars. This book was a fun, intriguing read. The characters and situations were thought provoking. I laughed and cried and found myself asking what would I do, how would I handle the situation. Our memories help shape and define who were are. This was an excellent experience reading. Right now as I write this review, this book just won't leave me alone.  I recommend this as a must read to whomever I can. 

#NETGALLEY  #TELLMEANENDING
Was this review helpful?
Imagine if you could erase the most traumatic memories of your past. Jo Harkin creates that world in Tell Me an Ending. 
After an issue with the memory removal, Nepenthe, the company that provides these services, is forced to tell past customers that they had a memory removed. They are then given the option to retrieve those memories. However, they don't know what has been erased and why. This book is told through multiple perspectives including a psychologist working for Nepenthe.
This was a really interesting look into the ethics of memory. The characters and their stories were all very interesting. This is a perfect book for any sci-fi fan.
Was this review helpful?
This book was good. It is a thought provoking story that captivated me as I got to know the characters and their backgrounds. It's fascinating and heartbreaking, suspenseful and thoughtful. Morality comes into play and its interesting to think if a company like this is actually beneficial or not. After reading this, I imagine if could go both ways.
Was this review helpful?
This was a really solid one, my patrons who are fans of speculative fiction enjoyed it. First or second round purchase
Was this review helpful?
Enjoyable but I’m not sure I would recommend it to others. I found the plot line to be confusing and the characters were not likeable at all.
Was this review helpful?
forgive such a late review / feedback but it worked for me, though not as much as i wanted it to. i think I'll always compare these memory works to recursion and eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
Was this review helpful?
I love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, so I was excited to read this book. I’m happy to say that it did not disappoint! I liked all of the characters and it consistently held my interest. Thanks for letting me check it out!
Was this review helpful?
An interesting book set in the not to distant future where specific memory deletion is possible. Black Mirror-esque but more thoughtful and philosophical than you can get in an hour long episode. The book covers themes of memory (obviously) but also the self and who you are if you don't know/remember your past.
I did set the book down and come back to it and it has a lot of characters and shifting narrators which was hard to keep track of when returning to it and even as I read through the rest of it. The ending was fine for the story but it left me wanting more.
Overall, recommended!
Was this review helpful?
A scary yet almost realistic novel taking place in the near future and telling the story of strangers who only apparent connection is their willingness to remove some of their troubling memories and the shocking aftermath of this decision. A great and surprising read all around.
Was this review helpful?
Book Review: Tell Me An Ending by Jo Harkin

Tell Me An Ending is a science fiction novel about the effects that deleting traumatic memories have on a group of people including patients and clinicians. 

In Tell Me An Ending Jo Harkin paints a portrait of a group of people interlinked by a desire to erase traumatic or unwanted memories by a popular clinic. The rules are pretty simple. They can’t erase anything criminal they’ve done, it can’t be an old memory and all the evidence that they had the procedure is completely locked down and private. The former patients never even knew that they had it done at all until a recent lawsuit forced the company to reach out to each client and offer a reversal. This book follows an emotionally closed off therapist for the company, a husband suddenly faced with the fact that his wife secretly had the procedure, a former police officer that is haunted by an incident he know longer remembers, a college student that is forced to re-trace her own footsteps to figure out what she’s hiding from herself and a young man drifting through cities around the world with no idea who he truly is. We stumble along in the dark with all the characters until what they really deleted is revealed. 

Tell Me An Ending gives us a glimpse of a future that isn’t that impossible to imagine and asks the question of whether the risks are worth it. Are we still ourselves if we only remember good things? Do we learn anything about the world or who we are if we delete the bad? Are our negative experiences so deeply ingrained in us that even if we chemically erase them they find their way back to us? 

I really enjoyed how each character was given their own personality and felt authentic. There were moments of darkness and tragedy but also bits of humor and wit. I really felt empathy for all the characters and could see why they took the actions they did. The clinicians also felt like they were doing good but the entire book brings up the idea of whether we often hurt more people (and ourselves) with good intentions.

I highly recommend this thoughtful and entertaining novel that explores the “what if?” of memory erasing

4.5 stars
Was this review helpful?
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - in book form!

Jo Harkin's work of speculative fiction is a thought-provoking exploration of a world where anyone can erase their worst memories.

But what happens when those memories return? That's the crux of the entire novel. I couldn't help but be caught up in the thoughts of how my memories, bad and good have shaped and changed me.

The book also brings up tons of ethical complications. How much does it cost? Can everyone afford it?

Tell Me an Ending takes a while to develop and for quite some time I wasn't sure how it would all come together but ultimately the world-building and small threads tying everyone together pays off.
Was this review helpful?
Immediately think of Black Mirror and Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind - well the bar has been set awfully high and unfortunately the assignment was not met. I was pretty boring and dragged a bit. I didn't really connect with the characters and the chapters just felt never ending 😢
Was this review helpful?
I really wanted to like this book, the premise sounded so very interesting. But the writing suffocated my enthusiasm, it sounded nearly unrealistic, and I couldn't get into it. I kept rewriting the sentences in my head. 

I would still recommend the book to someone who's looking for a "Black Mirror"-type book, but as for myself, I had a hard time finishing it. I am not closing the door on the author, but I think I will wait before picking up another book from them.
Was this review helpful?
Eternal Sunshine is one of my all-time favorite movies so when I read the synopsis of this book I knew I had to read it. Overall, I really liked it. It's an interesting and, to me, seemingly realistic way this would unfold if it were to really happen. Corruption, behind-the-scenes deals, secrets from a lot of people, and many left confused and hurt. The layout of the book made the characters a little confusing for me at first which took me out of the story. I liked that we had perspectives from every type of person this procedure has an effect on, even from an employee. Overall, I enjoyed this book both for being like Eternal Sunshine and a small breath of fresh air in books that are coming out.
I was given a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The mind is such a fascinating subject — I feel like it’s similar to the ocean in that there’s so much we don’t know about it and so much left to explore. The premise of this book — what if you could remove your worst memories — sets you up very well for the story. It’s sad, and interesting and a great study on people’s choices. I loved how all the characters intertwined, and how the writer managed to imbue the whole book with the grief and uncertainty that so many of them were feeling. Also, if you’re thinking to yourself “hey, that sounds like Eternal Sunshine,” yes, the author cleverly referenced the movie.
Was this review helpful?
Excellent and thought-provoking. This book really explores what it means to be human and what role our memories play in that process. I highly recommend this title to anyone interested in speculative fiction.
Was this review helpful?
Sometime in the future, there’s a company called Nepenthe. It has the ability to wipe memories. Would you get rid of your worst kept memories? Better yet, if you found out you had… would you choose to get it back? 

This is several people’s stories, from several different points of view - all coming together at the last possible second. Oscar, William, Mirande, and Mei have a decision to make about their memories and whether or not the lives they’ve been living, with a sinking feeling that something is missing, is better or worse than whatever it is they wiped.


This book is hard to rate. It was simply one big mystery 99% of the time. My desire to read it came and went - which is why it took me so long to get through it. I think I did enjoy it, or at the very least I enjoyed not knowing; not being able to guess. 

*thank you NetGalley for the ARC of this book in return for my honest review*
Was this review helpful?
TELL ME AN ENDING broaches the philosophical question of whether our memories define us, or we define our memories.  It questions whether we can truly be ourselves if we wipe the experiences that influence our daily perceptions and decisions. This dystopian fiction follows the lives of four characters who eventually realize they or a loved one had agreed to remove certain memories. As they grapple with this knowledge they must decide whether to recover those memories, a choice fraught with potential mental health implications.

The author writes each perspective casually, like a stream of consciousness.  Thankfully there is proper punctuation and sentence structure. I don't think I would have been able to read it otherwise as this is not typically a writing style I prefer. Overall, though, I think it works well since it shows how each character processes the world around them while feeling as if something isn't quite right.  It enables us to see how they try to cope with the sudden knowledge that a piece of themselves is missing.

Meanwhile, Noor, an employee of Nepenthe, begins to question the memory company's true motives. Noor is not very emotive and avoids social interaction if she can help it, which makes her perfect for a company like Nepenthe. Do your job, avoid emotional investment, repeat.  But protesters alleging a cover up and several other events cause Noor to wonder what Nepenthe actually cares about: their patients' happiness or their bottom dollar.  It's worth noting that there is some sapphic representation in Noor's story, but the focus remains on the dystopia unfolding in her life.

While the concept of this novel was intriguing, I felt at times it dragged on a bit.  I thought it was important to provide different characters' perspectives to show why someone might remove a memory.  But I thought the inner exploration of the reason behind their decision lacking in some cases.  One character's journey just flat out ended and I was confused about why there wasn't one last chapter about that person.  I also found the explanation of the procedure behind the memory removal unconvincing.  I don't expect the science to be down pat; but I think either omitting or fully comitting to it would have enhanced the dystopian vibes. 

However, TELL ME AN ENDING does offer a glimpse into what life might be like if we had the choice to wipe certain pieces of ourselves.  Would wiping a memory cause us to lose a piece of the puzzle, our whole selves?  Or could it actually improve one's life, assuming no trace of the (usually traumatic) original memory resurfaces?
Was this review helpful?
Uggghhhh I had such high hopes for this one, but they fell short. The concept was promising, but this book felt neither plot nor character driven, and I just couldn’t stay engaged. It was more like a tied-together collection of shot stories than a novel, but even that felt thin.
Was this review helpful?