There are two kinds of families: the ones we are born into and the ones we create.
Walk has never left the coastal California town where he grew up. He may have become the chief of police, 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. Now, thirty years later, Vincent is being released.
Duchess is a thirteen-year-old self-proclaimed outlaw. Her mother, Star, grew up with Walk and Vincent. Walk is in overdrive trying to protect them, but Vincent and Star seem bent on sliding deeper into self-destruction. Star always burned bright, but recently that light has dimmed, leaving Duchess to parent not only her mother but her five-year-old brother. At school the other kids make fun of Duchess―her clothes are torn, her hair a mess. But let them throw their sticks, because she’ll throw stones. Rules are for other people. She’s just trying to survive and keep her family together.
We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker is a phenomenal read. It’s heartbreaking, dramatic, and suspenseful. Every pages lures me in further. The cast of characters is as wide and deep as the vast oceans. Inside, the main characters include Walk, a cop, who tries his beat to protect Duchess and her little brother; Duchess, a thirteen year old girl, who is dealt a cruel hand in life; Robin, Duchess’s little brother, who is innocent and loves his sister. Then, there’s their mom who is a sorry excuse of a mother. She has left it up to her young daughter to cope their her near death trips and to the sole raising of both herself and her younger brother. Star is their mother. A woman too broken too move forward and to act like a grown adult. My sympathy grew for Duchess, Robin, and Walk as I kept reaching towards the end of the novel. Their troubles only escalate with every page. I am amazed by Chris Whitaker’s superb storytelling skills. I look forward to reading more of his books in the future. This novel is emotionally charged and worth every minute of reading.