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How We End Up

Being saved is not the same thing as being rescued.

This novel’s message sticks long after the story ends.

Douglas Wells’ new novel, How We End Up, has all the elements that a page-turning story needs. Readers note how it includes plenty of drama, mystery, comedy, and tragedy from start to finish.

Jackson Levee is an driven young college instructor and beginner poet. He saves nine-year-old twin girls, Hadley and Haley, from drowning in the Gulf of Mexico. Jackson writes a poem based on the incident called After the Rescue, and he receives critical praise and a wide readership as a result of appearing on a popular national television talk show.

Hadley and Haley grow up to be beautiful, but troubled, young women. Jackson’s success ends up bringing him the opportunity to be a professor at an esteemed university in the Carolina mountains. It is there that he meets LaVeda, and they temporarily have a happy marriage, but his ascendant star falls soon thereafter. Hadley ends up marrying a womanizer and discovers through a chance meeting that she is gay. This leads her to lose her relationship, and she falls into drug and alcohol abuse. Haley ends up becoming depressed, and later begins an unfulfilling affair with her older supervisor. She later marries an army reservist who is horribly wounded in the Iraqi War and whose PTSD threatens everything.

Over the years, the characters in How We End Up experience both triumphs and unhappiness. After twenty-five years, Jackson, Hadley, and Haley reunite…but a devastating event takes place. Can those left behind realize their destinies and find redemption?