Author(s): Andrew Ladd
In 1980, the McCloud family welcomes Trevor, their third child and the last to be born on Eilean Fior, a small island off the west coast of Scotland. Life there, on the eve of Trevor's birth, is grim: the population, once in the hundreds, now hovers around thirty, as most of the island's inhabitants have left for the mainland in search of an easier life. But the McClouds stubbornly maintain their guesthouse, despite their increasing trouble turning a profit and their children's lack of interest in taking over the family business. As soon as he is of age Barry - the McCloud's eldest son - flees the island, abandoning his siblings and rejecting the culture and traditions he was brought up with. After Flora finishes art school, she returns to Eilean Fior, resigned to her familial responsibilities, despite being certain that she wants more out of life. By the time Trevor is grown up, there is no place for ambivalence as the forces of time lock the McClouds into their way of life and out of any other. Weaving together a series of conjoined narratives which follow each of the McClouds as they navigate their ever-more fragile lives, Andrew Ladd's debut novel is a lyrically haunting and unforgettable elegy for lost world.
'This is no debut but a masterwork, an aborbing micro-saga whose completion we mourn.' -- Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn 'Each of the McClouds is rendered with a vivid complexity and it is that vividness which makes What Ends so truly suspenseful and so deeply satisfying. And surely every reader will want to visit Eilean Fior; happily we can in these beautiful pages. A sparkling and eloquent debut.' -- Margot Livesey
Andrew Ladd is the blog editor for Ploughshares.com and his work has appeared in Apalachee Review, Memoir Journal and Rumpus.com, among others. He grew up in Edinburgh and has since lived in Boston, Montreal and New York. He currently lives in London. What Ends is his first novel.