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Publisher's Summary

2021 Hudson Booksellers Best of the Year

An Instant New York Times Best Seller

"A vibrant, engrossing, unputdownable thriller that packs a serious emotional punch. One of those rare books that surprise you along the way and then linger in your mind long after you have finished it." (Kristin Hannah, number one New York Times best-selling author of The Nightingale and The Four Winds)

Right. Wrong. Life is lived somewhere in between.

Duchess Day Radley is a 13-year-old self-proclaimed outlaw. Rules are for other people. She is the fierce protector of her five-year-old brother, Robin, and the parent to her mother, Star, a single mom incapable of taking care of herself, let alone her two kids.

Walk has never left the coastal California town where he and Star 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. And he's in overdrive protecting Duchess and her brother.

Now, 30 years later, Vincent is being released. And Duchess and Walk must face the trouble that comes with his return. We Begin at the End is an extraordinary novel about two kinds of families- the ones we are born into and the ones we create.  

A Macmillan Audio production from Henry Holt and Company

"Heartbreaking, unexpected, and hopeful, this audiobook is a must-listen. Narrator George Newbern's nuanced delivery engages listeners and helps the layers of the story unfold." (AudioFile Magazine)

©2021 Christopher Whitaker (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about We Begin at the End

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

It was hard to put down. It was heart wrenching sad at times and also made me smile and even giggle. An intricate plot that kept me involved page after page. Unforgettable characters. Loved it!

1 person found this helpful

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This storyline is great

I enjoyed the story very much. All of the twists and turns kept me engaged to see what really happened.
While I enjoyed the narrator’s voice, his ability to transition between scenes or differentiate voices caused me to skip back often to determine what had just happened.

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Heartbreaking story that's hard to stop

Loved it, and couldn't stop reading it, even though the story was hit after hit.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • M. patton
  • 2021-03-03

Horrible narrator in this audible book

The narrator chose to use a 'Lake Wobegon' Garrison Keillor style of reading which is so annoying that I had to stop listening. It's such a poor choice for this book. It's a thriller, not a nostalgic remembrance. I really like the writing and the story, and the narrator's vocal quality is not the issue, that's fine. It's his sing-song-y interpretation. Why in the world was this choice made? Ugh. I sadly didn't listen to a sample before I used my credit. And maybe if I had, it wouldn't have annoyed me in a short excerpt. But, man, listening for more than five minutes is like fingernails on a chalk board.

40 people found this helpful

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  • storymum
  • 2021-04-12

Narrator butchered this author’s beautiful work

Such a shame. After reading of its awards, I was very interested in this piece. Immediately I could tell the writing in this book was extraordinary, but I just couldn’t listen to the disjointed, horrible butchering of it one second longer. I turned it off in less than 10 minutes. I can’t imagine how this performance was found acceptable by Audible. Dismembering such beautiful work is an atrocity.

18 people found this helpful

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  • John Mayloo
  • 2021-03-21

Really good

I wanted to love this - and part of me did. But I think the audible version shortchanged me as I couldn’t always tell when an internal chapter stopped and another started. In a book, you’d see a gap between paragraphs letting you know time had passed or the perspective was changing. This narrator read right through those so I never quite knew exactly who’s story line I was listening to.
All that aside, it was really really good and the narrator was good. Story was heartbreaking but bitter sweet when it was all done

15 people found this helpful

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  • amyk0506
  • 2021-03-19

Great book

Wasn’t sure at first if I was going to like this. But the story is awesome and it made me laugh and cry. I didn’t care too much for the narrator he didn’t seem to pause between chapters or sections so you got confused at what he was saying or the character he was supposed to be.

12 people found this helpful

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  • CMV
  • 2021-03-08

Great story

Sad but also humorous in parts. This story kept my attention, and I finished in a few days. Good, bittersweet, but I highly recommend. One of the better books I’ve listened to lately. I got attached to several characters and hated to see the story end.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Connie K.
  • 2021-03-18

Fabulous characters

I enjoyed this book more than I have enjoyed a book in a long time.Great story, characters very engaging. I could not stop listening.
I could visualize the characters, the scenery.
Terrific plot line.
I highly recommend the book.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-03-14

One of the best stories in awhile!

From the first words, to the very last this story had me hooked. just when I thought I had it figured out, it would go another direction.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Dad
  • 2021-04-06

Heartbreaking

It’s a heartbreaking read but so great! You will it be able to put it down;)

6 people found this helpful

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  • Paula Stephen
  • 2021-03-13

It was a struggle to finish

Based on all the great reviews I bought this book and settled in on finishing it in one day. I struggled throughout the entire book, increasing the speed to just push through finishing. It did not hold my attention. Just not my taste.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-08-10

Heartbreaking but beautiful!

This was an amazing book by Chris Whitaker. I was drawn in from the start. Such heartbreak for a young girl to survive but she calls herself “Outlaw” for a reason. Great storyline. I thought I knew the answers to the puzzle but was clearly wrong. The cursing was a lot but it seemed necessary to really feel the emotions of Duchess. I highly recommend this book.

3 people found this helpful