‘It ends with us’ written by Colleen Hoover is a riveting romance novel that follows Lily bloom as she naively falls in love with neurosurgeon Ryle Kincaid only to end up in the perpetual cycle of domestic violence that her mother faced. This book delves into ending generational cycles and the perils of falling love with alleged ‘mister perfect.’

From an outer perspective Ryle is mister perfect- successful career, charismatic, beguiling and a romantic. Ryles’ nice guy curtain is pulled back when the novel foreshadows his abusive nature and lack of anger management as he “kicks a chair repeatedly ” pg 6, the night they meet. However, Lily’s naivety still caused her to fall in love with this seemingly perfect neurosurgeon. After their ‘honeymoon’ period, their relationship quickly turned south as Ryles anger and envy culminated in hurting Lily. It becomes crystallized in the text the deep emotional purgatory this causes Lily as she rationalizes that “it really was an accident”  pg.188 . However, Lily genuinely believes that his apologies, peppering of kisses and empty promises mean that it could never happen again. Unfortunately, this was not the case and it only caused more sexual and domestic violence. But, after having an insightful conversation with her mother- a domestic abuse survivor. She realised that it must end. She must end the generational cycle of domestic abuse to save her daughter. That it must “end with us” and she must finally divorce an apologetic yet abusive man. The strength Lily must have had to walk away with her child, serves as a testament to those suffering domestic abuse in real life and the courage they have. This book informs the reader on the taboo subject of domestic abuse while also touching on ending generational abuse.

Colleen Hoover’s book explores the parallels of domestic abuse in families and how the perpetual cycle must be broken in order to protect the ones we love. And, that staying with the ones who hurt us for the sake of their children is counterintuitive, futile and damaging for the development of their children. This novel also teaches the reader that apologies are empty if they are not filled with change, love and compassion. 

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