Can an ending make a book? Téa Obreht’s new Western INLAND is the rare novel with a perfect finish—and if you haven’t experienced it yet, beware: We’re taking a close read of everything through to the last page.
So, spoilers. Rarely, a literary ending comes along that feels too perfect to limit to safe, vague praise. I’m not talking about the wild twists or clever reframings that’ve distinguished some of the year’s buzzier titles (see sidebar). Inland simply parallels two character studies that must, by the laws of good storytelling, intersect. Obreht brilliantly approaches this inevitability by weaving it into the fabric of her haunted setting, where fate can’t help but grab the steering wheel.
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