Welcome to the intricate, disquieting world of the Bird twins, where one sister's lies send the other back into their dangerous past.
When Kat Bird wakes up from a coma, she sees her mirror image: Jude, her twin sister. Kat remembers nothing except Jude, who must take on the momentous task of rebuilding their past block by block. But as the months progress, Kat begins to fear that, maybe, their childhood wasn’t nearly as idyllic as Jude wants her to believe—a realization that threatens their bond, their safety, and even their lives.
The Night of the Accident
It was just like me to go ahead and die, leaving her behind. That’s what I’d hear her say, if I could hear her at all. Foolish, careless, typical. Expected, even. Another instance in which she was forced to clean up my mess, tend to my mistakes. Her guillotine voice would curse me in the sweetest tones. She would softly rake her bloody fingernails against my lifeless arm. She would say all the right things to lure me back, and keep all the wrong things to herself.
On that night we left the old neighborhood just as the rain began to fall. I ran first—I’ve always gone first—leading her back the way we came: through a colony of dusty relics, across a lush runway of grass, down a street where the homes are crowded with ghosts. I was not right. There was a pulsing inside my head, the tempo and weight of a thousand percussive drums, but I convinced myself otherwise, let my mind talk me into believing my own lies.
As we set off, me behind the wheel and my twin sister by my side, the rain stopped and I felt a shivery relief. The clouds cleared and the full moon shot its light through the craggy branches, illuminating the slick road ahead.
I saw the deer’s dead body right before I swerved hard right, its limbs splayed in unnatural directions, its gut zippered open. Then came a tree and a sheet of glass and the feeling that my head had launched away from my body, soaring into the sky, too far for me to retrieve it. I had time to form one last thought before my mind emptied itself of all things: She will know how to fix me.
Publishers Weekly, starred & featured review
“Brilliant [and] spine-tingling… Despite working with themes that often slide into the absurd—family cults, creepy twins, amnesia—Kahler never puts a foot wrong. Readers will be rapt.”
Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Never Have I Ever
“Where You End is a genuinely startling tale of love and revenge. Heads up, Indies: this fiction debut is a hand-selling book lover’s dream.”
Sarah Pekkanen, New York Times bestselling author of Gone Tonight and coauthor of The Wife Between Us
“A vividly written, deeply layered novel about the intersection of sisterhood, memory, and trauma. This book kept me in its grip until the final page.”
*Margaret Talbot, New Yorker staff writer and author of The Entertainer
“It unnerves and beguiles in ways reminiscent of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks—but it’s a true original.”
Kim Michele Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
“Where You End is a savvy, gripping psychological thriller with perfectly crafted multifaceted characters and literary flair. Abbott Kahler’s mesmerizing, addictive plot starts with a bang and never lets up, asking disquieting questions about our capacity for reinvention, and how far we’re willing to go for the ones we love. An astonishing debut.”
"Kahler’s debut novel by turns thrills and devastates...Artful, evocative prose and realistically damaged characters contribute to the book’s potency. At once a vertiginous paranoia tale and a melancholic meditation on identity."
Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of The Many Daughters of Afong Moy
“If you pick up this book (and you should), be sure to clear your calendar for a few days because you will not be able to put it down. Where You End is a gripping, breathtaking, page-turning, and completely satisfying psychological thrill ride. I was utterly mesmerized.”
Susannah Cahalan, New York Times bestselling author of Brain on Fire and The Great Pretender
“This stunning tale of sibling love, the haunting manipulation of memory, and the ‘lovely little lies’ that bind us to the past is a spectacular ride by a storyteller at the top of her game.”
Ada Calhoun, New York Times bestselling author of Also a Poet
"What an incredible thrill ride! Abbott Kahler’s gift for period detail and unforgettable female characters is evident on every page of this propulsive mystery. Her masterful portrayal of 'mirror’ twins battling trauma within and evil forces haunts me to this day.”