But first, let's take a look at Landline...
Landline is out now - get your copy here!
If you've read Eleanor and Park, chances are you were pretty frustrated with the ending. Luckily for you, Rainbow has chosen to write about the mystery surrounding it...
THE THREE WORDS
This is the question I've been asked most since I wrote Eleanor and Park. This is what people tweet at me and email me about. It's the ﬁrst question at every signing and public event.
WHAT ARE THE THREE WORDS?
My father-in-law called my husband to ask. My mother cornered me at lunch, "I know you won't tell the Internet, but I thought you'd tell me. I'm your mother."
I didn't tell her. And I'm not going to tell you.
But we can talk about it for a few minutes, if you'd like...
I always knew, when I started Eleanor and Park, what the last line would be. I knew Eleanor was going to send Park a postcard, and that it would be 'just three words long'.
And I knew that readers would assume those three words were "I love you". I want readers to assume that. It's the obvious answer – and it's a happy answer. Wouldn't it be lovely if Eleanor ﬁnally said, "I love you"?
But I can't bring myself to conﬁrm that interpretation. Or to say anything conclusive about the postcard – beyond that I think Eleanor wrote something hopeful. Park responds hopefully. He sits up, he smiles, he feels like something with wings takes off from his chest. That sounds like hope to me.
It drives people crazy when I talk like this: as if the characters have minds of their own, and I'm just interpreting their actions based on what I've read.
I mean, I created Eleanor and Park. I should be able to tell you, concretely, what it says on the postcard.
But there's something about that moment between them...
It's the end of the book, and we're getting ready to leave the characters. Their story is about to become their own again. (If you imagine that characters keep on living after you close a book; I do.)
So we're backing away from them, and they're having an intimate moment. And it just feels wrong to read their mail.
I know! It's crazy for me to say that! We've been in their heads for 300 pages, and it's a postcard – everyone at the post ofﬁce probably read it.
But in that moment, as the author – the voyeur-in-chief – it didn't feel right to read it, to share it.
The important thing to know about that postcard is that Eleanor sent it. She worked through all her fear and anxiety and insecurity, and she reached out to Park. She sent him something that made him smile and feel wings ﬂuttering in his chest.
Readers often ask me – after they've asked about the three words – why I decided to end the book this way. Why couldn't I give Park and Eleanor a happy ending?
I think I did give them a happy ending.
I mean, I know it's not really an ending; there aren't wedding bells and sunsets. This isn't the end for these two people. It's just where we leave them.
But they're 17 years old.
I don't believe that 17-year-olds get happy endings. They get beginnings.
This is the end of this story about Eleanor and Park, but it's the beginning of something else. And I have so much hope for them."
If you love Rainbow Rowell and you live in the UK or Ireland, you're going to love this giveaway! I'm giving you the chance to win a signed Rainbow Rowell prize pack, including a signed copy of Eleanor and Park and matching poster, also signed. Sound good? Of course it does, so enter below. Good luck!