10 Last Lines from Famous Novels

OETKB_2400px3200p_NYTEveryone quotes the best opening sentences of novels, but I don’t think people quote the last sentence very often. I thought we might have some fun today and do just that. After all, the last sentence is the last thing a reader sees so it also is very important, isn’t it?

I’ve pulled 10 books from my home library. All the books have been hugely popular and critically acclaimed. I’ve jumbled them so they’re not in any special order or grouped by genre.

I’ll give the last line, and, just to make it interesting, I’ll give the source at the bottom of this post. See if you recognize any of these.

10 Last Lines

“Oh, my girls, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this!”

Jenny listened to the mill wheels and wondered what mysteries and miracles, wht horrors and joys were being ground out at this very moment, to be served up in times to come.

Then, starting home, he walked toward the trees, and under them, leaving behind him the big sky, the whisper of wind voices in the wind-bent wheat.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.

“Probably,” Morelli said, “but I give good . . . pizza.”

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

“God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world,” whispered Anne softly.

And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.

Her work was done.

How Did You Do?

The amazing thing about all of these closing sentences is that they are perfect for the novel in which they appear. I try to do the same–crafting the perfect closing sentence in my books.

In Old Enough to Know Better, the book shown above, I have a closing line that is perfect for this romantic comedy. It fits the premise of the book, the characters, and what happens during the course of the story. This is the closing sentence as it appears in the book:

Truth.

That’s it. No more than that 1 word in italics. You can judge for yourself if it fits the story by picking up Old Enough to Know Better, reduced from $3.99 to only 99cents from today through next Thursday. Available at: Amazon * iBooks * Kobo * Nook * Smashwords.

The Answers

  1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  2. Phantoms by Dean Koontz
  3. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  6. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
  7. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  8. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  9. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  10. Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Joan Reeves

Joan Reeves—Keeping Romance Alive…One Sexy Book at a Time—is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. From Romantic Comedy to Romantic Thriller, all of her books have the same premise: “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.” Joan lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. They divide their time between the hustle and bustle of Houston and a quiet house at the foot of the Texas Hill Country where they grow fruit trees and grapes and make wine. Sign up for Joan’s Mailing List and be the first to know about new books and giveaways.

Visit Joan Reeves Website

Joan Reeves

About Joan Reeves

Joan Reeves—Keeping Romance Alive...One Sexy Book at a Time—is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. From Romantic Comedy to Romantic Thriller, all of her books have the same premise: "It's never too late to live happily ever after." Joan lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. They divide their time between the hustle and bustle of Houston and a quiet house at the foot of the Texas Hill Country where they grow fruit trees and grapes and make wine. Sign up for Joan's Mailing List and be the first to know about new books and giveaways. Visit Joan Reeves Website

10 Replies to “10 Last Lines from Famous Novels”

    • I wonder if anyone has ever done a poll about books women writers read when they were young. I’m sure Anne of Green Gables would be in that list along with Little Women, Nancy Drew Mysteries, and a few others.

  1. I have a coffee mug covered in famous first lines and though some are clever and a few alluring, those last lines are where the power really lies. I was stunned by the beauty of most of them. Thanks for that moment. Nothing touches me more than a beautifully turned phrase. I loved this particular image: “Then, starting home, he walked toward the trees, and under them, leaving behind him the big sky, the whisper of wind voices in the wind-bent wheat.” If that doesn’t feel like , the end… Thanks, Joan, that was most enjoyable.

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