"In 2017, Tara Blair Ball thought she had it all: a handsome husband, beautiful infant twins, and a great house in the suburbs. But then came a discovery that worked just like a grenade lofted into the middle of her superficially serene life: her husband had been secretly abusing drugs for years, he had a secret card, and he'd embezzled from his job. After trying to work things out and having two devastating miscarriages, she'd then commit her own great betrayal: having an affair.
Told with suspense, humor, and unflinching honesty, The Beginning of the End captures the agonies and joys of one imperfect woman, trying the best she can in unspeakable circumstances."
Idea/Concept: Ball delivers a candid and genuine memoir about a broken relationship, addiction, and human frailty. The author’s honesty about her own mistakes and moral complexity, is particularly refreshing.
Prose: The author’s prose is refined and clear-eyed, if bare bones in style.
Originality: Many memoirs explore themes of addiction and problematic marriages, but Ball’s experiences are distinctly her own, and she delivers a cathartic, potentially relatable narrative.
Execution: This work offers an often captivating look into the inner workings of a dysfunctional relationship and the chilling impact of secrecy and distrust. While in part due to Ball’s modest and restrained writing style, readers may crave additional substance, with more in-depth exploration of the author’s emotional and psychological states.
Date Submitted: October 29, 2019