Sometimes after reading a book I wonder what if things had gone down differently. What if, one of the characters had done something differently or the protagonist had walked away from something? I, often, wonder about an alternate ending and I don’t know why.
SPOILER AHEAD (for The Girl On The Train, Code Name Verity and The Boy In The Striped Pyjama)
Imagine if “The Girl On The Train” wasn’t about Rachel obsessing and witnessing the life and death of Megan Hipwell. Imagine if, it was a story of how both the women meet and swap their lives only to help each other get over the issues. I picture Rachel seeing Megan and envying her happy life, while Rachel looking at the train everyday with same feeling about happy passengers passing by everyday. And then one fine day, they meet maybe in bar, get to talking and realize how they both see each other at the same time, at that particular time when the local train passes Tom’s street.
Little drunk and emotional enough to spill things out they become friends and realize that none of them is actually happy, that the grass always looks greener on the other side. And in the end each one gets something. Maybe Megan ends up helping Rachel fight her alcohol addiction and get a job or meet someone new; at the same time Rachel ends up helping Megan walk out of her strange marriage and deal with her own issues caused by loss of the brother.
Of course, it wouldn’t have been a thriller then and probably not many people would even like it. Yet, I can’t help but wonder…
what if, there was no murder and it was just a story of two twisted women who become friends and fix each other, instead of one dying and other ending up in the suspicion of being the killer.
I had the same thought of alternate ending about my personal favorite “Code Name Verity”, though I would not change a single thing about the book even page 285 because that’s what made it a heartbreaking story. But I wonder if things had gone differently on that one page on that bridge, how would have the story ended.
Imagine if Maddie hadn’t fired her gun. I try to picture that but I wonder if that would have made the book as good as it is now.
I mean you wouldn’t be swearing on the brilliance, and the intensity, of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas if he hadn’t walked inside the fenced area and followed his friend into those chambers. I try to picture, what if he hadn’t but then what would be the story about?
There is a reason why something happens in a story, even if every part of our body wants to jump inside the scene and shake the protagonist begging her/him to not do something or walk into something.