A bittersweet love story about a Cambodian-American daughter drawn into a love affair with a young army medic returned from Afghanistan and into her own Cambodian heritage.
Discussion guide: Either-the-Beginning-or the End of the World Discussion Guide.
Blog posts with backstory, research, touring with Either the Beginning or the End are here.
“Farish’s writing is haunting. Beautifully written and briskly paced… An excellent choice for readers seeking a less than neatly packaged love story or a glimpse into the complicated lineage of war-torn areas.”
Starred Review, SLJ
“A bittersweet love story between a fisherman’s teenage daughter and a soldier returned from Afghanistan…” Either the Beginning or the End of the World “…examines the intersections of love and war in a family’s history.”
“Sixteen-year old Sofie is her daddy’s girl, having weathered real and metaphorical storms with him as he tries to make a living as a New Hampshire fisherman. [Either the Beginning or the End of the World offers] sophisticated literary prose and a narrative where love is as strong and complex as the many forces that work against it.”
Recommended, The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books
“By learning the intricacies of human suffering, Sofie undergoes an empathetic awakening. Farish writes the first-person narration in unadorned prose, focusing on raw emotions and the details of the frigid wintertime setting.”
The Horn Book
“Terry Farish’s stories about refugees and immigrants have been informed by her extensive work with the Red Cross in Vietnam, and you can feel that raw, authentic care given to her characters in Either the Beginning or the End of the World. It’s a love story, but it’s also a story of generations of a family, each affected by war and loss in their own ways.”
“I found that this story reminded me a lot of Taylor Swift’s song “Mine”; both Sofie and Luke, the man that she falls in love with, seem hesitant about their feelings because of their pasts, but really enjoy one another’s presence and try to ignore all future troubles when they’re together.”
“Terry Farish has again written another haunting fast-paced book about love, cultural diversity, PTSD and understanding.” Rating: Excellent, Maine State Library Reviews