Behrg Reviews "I'm Thinking of Ending Things" by Iain Reid
"Something that disorients, that unsettles what’s taken for granted, something that disturbs and disrupts reality—that’s scary."
I'm not sure I've ever finished a novel before and immediately turned to page one to start the story again. I'm Thinking of Ending Things is my kind of story--unique, well-told, with a quiet tension that hangs over the narrative, darkening every scene. This in and of itself is an accomplishment, considering the novel's themes of mental illness, and adds another layer that becomes an almost invisible metaphor for depression. There are a lot of layers to unpack in this story, and as that's half the fun I'll be careful of not sprinkling in any spoilers.
The storyline is intrinsically yet deceptively simple. A road trip with a girlfriend going to meet her boyfriend's parents for the first time. A girlfriend who suffers from depression and is "thinking of ending things." One of the highlights of Reid's work is the uncomfortable awkwardness that exists in certain moments with this couple and how relatable this makes them. As the story progresses and things begin to unravel, that gap only widens until the reader is the one questioning what's real rather than just the characters.
One of the smartest novels I've read tackling the subject of mental illness, I only wish I had read this one sooner. Looking forward to more of Reid's work.