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    Epilogue but No HEA
  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 29th, 2007

AvatarLadyDianaHeadshotPublic displays of affection are not the norm for London. Yet, on two occasions, July 29, 1981 and September 6, 1997, thousands of people thronged the streets, and billions watched on telly, as the person they adored swept by, the first time for her wedding and the second time for her funeral.

LadyDianaMotherFriday is the tenth death anniversary of Diana, the People’s Princess. She won the hearts of millions of people and loosened the moral strictures of hidebound society by not just talking the talk, but also walking the walk. LadyDianaRedCrossFrom a shy bride to a devoted mother to a passionate campaigner, the Princess of Wales didn’t just transform herself, she changed a country. She was one of the first symbols of "girl power" โ€” despite her desire for something that was not at all radical "to love and to be loved" โ€” and her faith in the power of redemptive understanding, of allowing the weak to be weak.

LadyDianaWeddingNo one watching Diana’s fairy tale wedding to her prince believed that she would not have a happily ever after. Fans everywhere celebrated the birth of her sons, a happy epilogue to the wedding. But they were saddened by the destruction of her love and marriage โ€” it seems even talented, compassionate, beautiful princesses were not guaranteed HEAs.

It’s no wonder, many readers these days like second epilogues. They like knowing that the characters they’ve become attached to and indentified with are not only still together seven, eight, ten years down the road, but are still romantically attracted to each other with a love grown stronger over time.

QuestionMarkWhat do you think of second epilogues? Did you catch the concert on July 1 broadcasted from Wembley Stadium on what would’ve been Diana’s 46th birthday?

8 Responses to “Epilogue but No HEA”

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  1. Buffie
    on Aug 29th, 2007
    @ 6:51 am

    Keira — great blog!!! I am one of those Americans who was and still is fascinated by Princess Di. I remember the day of her wedding — I was a child, but still got early in the morning to see all the activities. And I remember the day I found out about her death. I sobbed. Not cried, not got teary-eyed. I sobbed. I still have all the magazines from that week. And now I wonder if her beautiful boys will find their HEA.

    As for epilogues in books, I absolutely LOVE them. I almost hate getting to the end of a book and there not being one. I want to glimpse the H/H in the future and see that they are still so much in love.

  2. marisa
    on Aug 29th, 2007
    @ 6:51 am

    Life is full of 2nd Epilogues and the good times and good things we have done are rememered after we are gone. 2nd epilogues are usually in soft focus.

  3. Gannon Carr
    on Aug 29th, 2007
    @ 8:18 am

    I love this blog, Keira! I remember watching Princess Diana’s wedding and sighing, thinking how romantic it was. I also happened to be in London on the day of her funeral. So tragic! Like Buffie, I sobbed. As a mother, my heart broke for her two boys and the fact that they would no longer have her in their lives. I have all of the magazines from that week, too.

    I adore epilogues, because I want that glimpse of the H/H and their HEA!

  4. Andrea
    on Aug 29th, 2007
    @ 8:49 am

    I, too, was fascinated with Princess Diana’s life from her life growing up, to her wedding and all the wonderful things she did while alive. It was such a tragedy when she passed away.

    I love epilogues as well. They sorta “complete” the HEA. And I’ve really enjoyed Julia Quinn’s second epilogues.

  5. maria
    on Aug 29th, 2007
    @ 8:52 am

    I’m the lone dissenting voice. I’m not big on epilogues – I like to be left wondering on my own.

  6. KeiraSoleore
    on Aug 29th, 2007
    @ 3:42 pm

    Thanks everyone for your heartfelt comments on Diana. I adored her and sobbed and sobbed when I found out that she’d had an accident and had passed away. What a tragedy!!!

    Maria, some readers like to add their own imagination to the author’s work, and there are many authors who would prefer that readers did that. But on the other hand, with so much uncertainty in the air in real life, readers like the assurance of knowing that at least in fiction, all’s well with the world as it should be.

  7. Janga
    on Aug 29th, 2007
    @ 5:32 pm

    I’m not much of a celebrity watcher, but I watched the fairy tale wedding and the heartbreaking funeral too. I found the footage from the wedding that the networks ran during the coverage of her death unbearably poignant.

    I love good epilogues, and if all 2nd epilogues meet the standards set by Julia Quinn in the Bridgerton extras and Eloisa James in her wonderful extra chapters, I am wholeheartedly in favor.

    Terrific blog, Keira!

  8. barbara_bergin
    on Jan 16th, 2008
    @ 11:37 pm

    I go both ways. I always enjoy a good old fashioned (or new) romance novel with an HEA. But the books I remember longest are the ones with an ending that gets me thinking. When I wrote my first novel, Endings, I became conflicted when I came to the ending. I wanted a special effect, so to speak. I didn’t end it with an HEA. Frankly, some were perplexed and are asking me for a sequel. But most of my readers love the non-traditional ending.

    Honestly, I think life is less like the HEA and more like Diana’s story. We are all going to die. Half of us are going to live longer than our spouse… if our marriage succeeds. Life ends sadly. I do think that’s why we love the HEA.

    Barbara Bergin
    author of “Endings”

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