Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li
There are many conversations we have in life and some that are difficult but at the same time there are conversations that none of us want to have. In Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li (Hamish Hamilton) is a deeply moving account of a mother having a conversation with her son who took his own life.
It is understandable that some may find this an uncomfortable book to pick up and read, but what I would say is do not be put off, this is a remarkable story that is being told. The narrator is a Chinese – American writer and it was her son Nikolai who was full of life took his own life, leaving his mother to try and understand why.
Soon after her son’s death a conversation begins between them and it is an extended conversation and sometimes Nikolai would seem to be a little harsh on his mother. We start to learn about Nikolai and what he really enjoyed in life but also the pain that was clearly there. As I was reading I guess I fell into a trap expecting to learn why Nikolai took his own life but it is his mother who talks of life after her son is gone. There are many questions in life and sometimes no matter how hard we try answers are never found.
I have been very lucky to have read many great books so far this year but there is something here that is just remarkable, there is no doubt it is an incredibly sad novel to read but Where Reasons End is nothing short of a masterpiece of a novel. As a writer Yiyun Li is at the top of her game as a writer and one everyone who loves writers should be shouting her name from every rooftop.
Of course this is a book that pour out grief and unspeakable pain and it should be, but this conversation that takes place is in a place that none of us want ever to visit.
There is real sadness about Where Reasons End when you understand Yiyun Li’s own life. Do writers sometimes write to escape? I don’t fully know the answer to that question but I would seriously recommend reading Where Reasons End.
Thank you to Hamish Hamilton for the review copy of Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li.
Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li was published by Hamish Hamilton and was published on 7th February 2018 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.