This is it…the end. The last one. The final entry. I can’t believe we made it, but THANK YOU GUYS for sticking with me! Never thought I’d be closing this series out in the midst of a global pandemic, but here we are. So one more time…
The grumble and I would like to remind you again to wash your hands, stay home, take your shoes off as soon as you come inside, clean things you most often touch (i.e. doorknobs, light switches, fridge handles…the things you never think to clean), take this ish seriously, stay the eff home, and wash your hands.
And now…here it is…THE FINAL CHAPTER!
Entry 19! This would have been way more satisfying at a round 20.
“He tries not to think too hard about his face on chocolate bars and thongs in Buckingham gift shops.”
Full circle moment–Alex noticed these for Philip & Martha in the first chapter.
“Alex can see the glint in her eye–she’ll be gunning for the throne soon.”
I have this image of Catherine becoming queen and her & Ellen becoming extremely powerful besties.
“What in the hell is a ‘cullen skink?'”
This was a terrible thread of research for me.
“She offered to edit my manuscript this morning.”
Yes, Henry is already working on his first book! It’s about hidden gay British history!
“That’s drunk humor for you, Alex.”
As someone who knows and loves many people in recovery, this is exactly the type of joke they like to make.
“Fine,” he says. “Fine, yeah, I’m nervous about going back to Texas.”
What Alex goes through here is something a lot of marginalized people from red states go through–loving the state that raised you while feeling rejected by it.
“Alex thinks; he’s different, for sure, maybe a little darker. More neurotic, but more honest. Sharper head, wilder heart. Someone who doesn’t always want to be married to work, but who has more reasons to fight than ever.”
Really love this graf for him.
“He’s been teetering on the edge of letting go of this specific dream for months now, terrified of it, but the relief is startling, a mountain off his back.”
One of the themes of this book is realizing adulthood isn’t what you thought it would be and learning that your childhood dream isn’t always your forever dream. There’s a grief in that, but there is also relief.
“He props a pillow up on June’s knees, stretches his feet out over Nora’s legs, and goes to sleep.”
I feel like sleep is a symbol of self care in this book, and by the end, Alex and Henry are finally doing it.
“It’s a risk, doing election night in their hometown.”
This final scene was the HARDEST. I blended together the timelines from the 2012 & 2016 election nights and made my own electoral map. Logistically, emotionally…HARD.
“It’s 2020, and Texas is a battleground state for the first time in years.”
PLEASE GOD BE A PROPHECY.
“He distinctly remembers pushing them out onto the stage ahead of him, giving them a full thirty seconds of soaking it in before following them into the spotlight.”
I love this Alex moment–even when he was younger, less mature more selfish, he could put himself aside. That’s what makes him a great leader.
HRH Prince Dickhead
Shaan has informed me this is,
in fact, far. Landing soon. Will
try to take off again once the
I briefly toyed with the idea of Henry hitching a ride to Austin with a motorcycle gang but there was already enough going on here.
“No, sorry, Alex, not you. June.”
A small but telling moment–everyone assumes Ellen wants to talk to Alex. This is the beginning of a new era for June & Ellen.
“He looks down at the cuffs of his jacket again, the red, white, and blue.”
Really wish I had snuck in a title reference here.
“He’s gorgeous in a navy-blue suit and tie that, upon closer inspection, is patterned with little yellow roses.”
This is the first and only patterned tie Henry wears in the book! And he made sure to pick one that would mean something to Alex.
“Take anything you want and know you deserve to have it.”
This is the kindest possible thing someone could say to Henry.
“Across the room, Henry’s with June, making a gesture at her hair, and she turns and lets him fix a piece of her braid that came loose earlier in a fit of anxiety.”
I like how this shows the casual intimacy between Henry & June–they have a lot in common and they’re close friends outside of Alex.
“He’s so mad he has such a specific type of due and never even noticed it for so long.”
This is a HUGE figured-out-your-sexuality-late mood.
“He turns to see Liam, almost the same as he remembers–tall, broad-shouldered, sweet-faced, scruffy.”
I have a soft spot for Liam–Alex really put him through it but he’s still totally loyal and good.
“Spencer’s handshake is strong, all farmboy.”
In my head Spencer looks like Tyler Blackburn.
“Come on, you backyard-shooting-range motherfuckers.”
Yes, this is real, thank you Samantha Bee for making me aware of it.
“You really have a lot to learn about America, mijo,” Oscar tells him, not unkindly.
Henry, by falling in love with someone with a great dad AND stepdad, goes from having no dad to having two.
“Zahra is on the phone, yelling into someone’s voicemail, and when she hangs up, she explains that her sister is having trouble getting into a good daycare and agreed to put Zahra on the job as an outlet for her stress.”
Love this detail–I imagine Zahra’s whole family brings her in for situations like this.
“From his side, Henry, whose eyes are wet, seizes Alex’s face roughly in both hands and kisses him like the end of the movie, whoops, and shoves him at his family.”
One thing I really like about their relationship is how considerate they both are of how important family is–Henry knows this moment isn’t about him.
“I bought a brownstone. In Brooklyn”
In my head, after the book ends, Alex gets into NYU for the following fall, they spend several months on vacation together and then they move into the brownstone.
“Someone has climbed up the front steps and erected a set of loudspeakers blasting Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”
Humbly suggest playing this song while reading this scene.
“Nothing’s changed inside, just been boxed up.”
A lot of subtext in this line.
A lot of subtext in this line too.
And that, my friends, brings our series to a close. I have really loved being able to share this with y’all, and am so appreciative of all the support I’ve gotten every week! I’ll miss having something to lure you to my blog with every week…I shall have to try to come up with something new…
Thank you for following along!