Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Epilogues Poll


View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Last week, we had the prologues poll and now we’re going to do an epilogue. How many of you enjoy epilogues? What do you want in an epilogue? What type of book needs an epilogue and where are epilogues merely extraneous?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Julia
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 09:10:25

    Totally love them. Gives me that extra bit of closure. When a book just ends I feel cheated. (Unless there’s another book that features that couple as side characters. That makes me just as, if not more, happy.)

  2. Sarabeth
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 09:17:10

    For me, it depends on the book. I don’t always need things wrapped up in a bow. So, I didn’t vote as I neither love them or hate them, and I do care for some books.

  3. Jia
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 09:17:51

    Like prologues, I don’t care either way.

    The only exception to this is the Everyone Has a Baby epilogue. Those I could do without.

  4. Jinni Black
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 09:38:37

    No weddings, no babies, please. That was the worst part of Hot Mail.

  5. Sandy
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 09:40:27

    I usually like epilogues because I’m invested in the character by the time I reach ithe end of the book, but Jia reminded me about the baby thing. I absolutely HATE epilogues in which this completes the happy couple. *rolls eyes*

  6. Jane Lovering
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 09:50:13

    As an author who has (once) given in to the Epilogue, I would say, it depends on the book. Normally I’m not in favour but I felt ‘Slightly Foxed’ needed some kind of follow-up, just to prove that the couple (who were not a ‘conventional’ couple) could actually make it together in a relationship. So I put in a One Year Later, to prove that it was a lasting thing, not just a quick fling on either part. But sometimes it just feels like an author can’t let go of his/her characters.

  7. Chicklet
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 09:52:17

    I’m not fond of any epilogue, and I hate the Care Bear Epilogue (tm Mrs. Giggles) with the fire of a thousand suns. If an author can’t sell me on the HEA in 250 pages, an extra five pages of “You’re schmoopy!” – “No, you’re schmoopy!” isn’t going to work, either. And if the author does sell me on the HEA in 250 pages, then the epilogue is unnecessary and doesn’t add anything I hadn’t gotten already from the previous chapters.

  8. theo
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 09:53:35

    I voted love them, though every once in a while I wonder why they’ve been added. But for the most part, I do love them. I bought the endings to Quinn’s Bridgertons because I loved the characters and just wanted…more.

  9. Kimber An
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 10:17:33

    I voted ‘I love them,’ but it really depends on how well written they are. If they’re just tacked on because the story itself was too weak on its own, not good.

    I love them when they’re done well because I’ve been happily married a long, long time and I know ‘Boy Meets Girl’ is only the beginning. I need a Romance to end with me believing the couple are *capable* of living happily ever after and it’s always a huge bonus when they make babies together too, because I love babies, oh yes, I do.

  10. LoriK
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 10:21:34

    I can’t vote in the poll because I need a 4th choice—-“it depends”. It’s not that I don’t care, because I tend to either really like an epilogue or really hate it. I think that for the most part a well-written book shouldn’t need one but there are times when they work very well. However, I’m not a fan of the wedding/baby/schmoop being tacked on the end of an otherwise good book.

  11. joanne
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 10:51:47

    @joanne: ambivalent much?

    I voted ‘could care less’ even though I often love them.

    blah, I don’t know how to explain my feelings.

    If it’s there because the author didn’t show that the couple will have their HEA forevah then I don’t want to read it since I’m already upset with the book.

    If it’s there because the author couldn’t let the characters go, that she loved them as much as I did then, yeah, go ahead, have them blow rainbow bubbles.

    It’s tax season, I should be working. I need a different epilogue for my life.

  12. Jill Sorenson
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 10:57:42

    I write romantic suspense, and my books often end in a bloody battle. The pace is fast, and the couple may have only known each other a few weeks/days. In this situation, an epilogue seems appropriate. I think of it as offering the reader a bit of security or closure, not taking an opportunity to shove a baby down someone’s throat.

    As a reader, I like them. Even Care Bear ones. Guess I’m a softie. : )

    And if the author does sell me on the HEA in 250 pages, then the epilogue is unnecessary and doesn't add anything I hadn't gotten already from the previous chapters.

    Agree with this.

    Edited to add: Sorry, I misread the above quote. If it said, “If the author DOESN’T convince me” etc. I would agree.

  13. Jill Sorenson
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 11:08:22

    Editing time ran out before I could finish my thought: I want to believe the couple is truly in love before the epilogue. It adds something, but it can’t take the place of a hard-won HEA.

  14. Mireya
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 13:15:22

    I likey prologuez and epiloguez … nuff said.

    Now seriously, I feel a book is somewhat incomplete if either or both are absent. It’s silly, really, but that’s how I feel about them, especially in romance.

  15. Pedant
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 13:24:50

    It would be option 3, but I can’t choose “could care less” just on principle.

  16. Bev Stephans
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 13:36:54

    I, too, didn’t vote. It really depends on the story. I just finished a book that could have done without the epilogue, but other books are really complete with the epilogue.

  17. karmelrio
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 15:22:42

    Baby-centric epilogues make me yack.

  18. ldb
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 17:15:35

    I love them, I’ve read books which would have been A+ but the way they ended just made me feel like the book just stopped, there was no ending. And you know what it’s romance, I was always under the impression that with that word came the warm fuzzy happy go lucky feelings of the care bears or whatever, so why the heck would an epilogue like that be a bad thing. I want weddings or babies or whatever, go ahead and be fuzzy.

  19. Gemma
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 17:52:10

    I would prefer a sensible ending to the book, with a few additional paragraphs to cushion it from being too abrupt, rather than an epilogue. This is mostly because of my fear of “love completed through motherhood.” If the book is about motherhood then fine, but don’t tack it on to the end and imply that the couple’s love was great and all, but without babies they wouldn’t *really* have been happy.

    I HATE reading Baby Epilogues. I just find myself placing bets on whether it’ll be a boy or a girl. Or twins. Or if the epilogue will be set quite a few years in the future so that they can have two sons and a daughter. Even if the epilogue is baby-free, I am likely to have been on the look-out for babies and annoyed myself anyway! Argh.

  20. Miki
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 17:52:20

    I don’t mind epilogues, most of the time. They don’t make me crazy like they do some.

    I chose “Could care less”, even though it really should be “Could not care less”. ;-)

  21. K. Z. Snow
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 19:19:24

    It depends on the story, really, and what the epilogue contains and how it’s handled. (Sorry; I’m a hopeless relativist!) Here’s comes the baby? No more reading that author!

    Actually, I’ve always appreciated a bit of ambiguity or “open-endedness,” maybe with a touch of humor.

  22. mary ellen*
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 20:32:50

    i luv epilouges (gee i hope i spelled tht rite) du u? and please tell me were i can get a coppy of the hunger games ,it looks soooo good .my teacher red it and sed it wz really good .ps hav u red any good mysteries latly ? that r ok 4 a 12 yr old to read? mi mom red scarrpetta but im not allowed to read tht

    luvs yas ( go blue !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)b nice to the enviornment ( and stephenie meyer) peace out luvs yas Mae (nite nite ,i hav school tomorrow)

  23. cecilia
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 20:44:01

    Sometimes I like them, sometimes they seem superfluous. Sometimes they remind me of the ending of Measure for Measure – almost satiric on the whole idea of the typical “one year later.” I haven’t decided if I like that or not. I think (as with just about every convention) that it greately depends on the execution.

    I will say that the all-time least enjoyable epilogue I ever beheld was the one where the couple dies (in old age). I can’t remember who wrote it. A Julia, I think. I get what it’s supposed to be doing, but it really just scarred me for life.

    As for babies, I can definitely live without them in epilogues, but I know that I’ve read a few historicals where the main conflict was the heroine’s fear that she would not be able to provide an heir, and in that case, I don’t mind them.

  24. willaful
    Jan 27, 2009 @ 00:05:13

    I have no strong feelings about them, except inasmuch as the people who *do* have strong feelings, and get really pissed off if there isn’t one, drive me batty. Which kind of makes me hate them on principle.

  25. Keishon
    Jan 27, 2009 @ 08:40:39

    Heh, can do without them but some books really do need a epilogue because they leave things so shady like a few of Linda Howard’s book(s). Otherwise, if the epilogue is about how many children they’ve had and/or expecting with ten million proclamations of love then I skip it altogether.

  26. KristieJ
    Jan 27, 2009 @ 17:35:12

    I need that other choice too. Can’t say I always love them – sometimes they are just too sweet. Can’t say I hate them – sometimes the book just needs that final tie up. And I can’t say I could care less because sometimes I like them and sometimes I don’t.

  27. DS
    Jan 27, 2009 @ 18:07:10

    Hate epilogues– especially baby epilogues and those series epilogues where every damn person who was ever in the book series of 12 volumes shows up with their off spring. Just sign me curmudgeonly.

  28. On the State of the Epilogue - Dear Author
    Jul 12, 2011 @ 11:07:26

    […] know for a fact, that the epilogue became de rigeur in single title books.  Back in 2009, I ran a poll about epilogues and the great majority of readers who answered the poll loved epilogues. In the comments, though, […]

%d bloggers like this: