How it ends

Sometimes, the truth lies in fiction

It’s hard to be an American girl in 1957. Especially when your dad’s job means you have to move four thousand miles from home. Especially if you’d rather play baseball than wear a dress. Especially if you see your mom fraying a little more from anxiety each day. And especially if being five minutes older means you have to protect your fragile twin brother.

Still, Hedy Delaney loves her family, and she’s trying to make the best of her new life on a U.S. airbase in England. After all, her dad’s a war hero, her mother’s a beauty, and her brother’s a brainiac who writes stories about space travel. Then one tragic day, the unforeseen occurs and all three are ripped away, leaving Hedy alone with countless questions. What really happened on the airbase? What went on behind military closed doors? What were the secrets that could never be told? And how could any of it have led to her family’s destruction?

In her search for the truth, Hedy turns to a story her brother began months before he died. Deciding to finish what her brother started, Hedy begins to piece together what happened to her family. But whether she’s ready for what she’ll discover is another matter entirely.

A sweeping and turbulent family drama, How It Ends asks whether writing fiction can uncover fact, and if it’s ever better to let the truth remain hidden. Sometimes, it’s safer not to finish what you’ve started.

This book is also known as The Wonderful as published in the US 

Gransnet Book of The Month, May 2019

BBC Suffolk Radio On-air Book Club Book of The Month, May 2019

Shortlisted for East Anglian Book Awards 2019

US Publishers Weekly’s Picks: Books of the week: Dec 8 2019

USA Today: ‘5 Books Not To Miss’ December 2019


‘Saskia Sarginson crafts an unusual, bitter-sweet coming of age novel that’s also a fascinating mystery steeped in Cold War history…Sarginson effectively interrogates the power of storytelling to engender catharsis and healing but also to deceive others and destroy relationships…Set against a historical backdrop that will surprise many readers, Sarginson’s novel movingly captures the private and at times painful evolution of a resilient and inventive protagonist.’ Publishers Weekly US

‘Compelling and beautifully written, with spectacular descriptions, many plot twists, and a shocking ending.’ Booklist US

‘A gripping and devastating tale of a family torn apart by secrets, war, and human brutality…Sarginson’s writing propels you forward with its strong characterisation and quiet beauty.’ Kirkus Reviews US

‘Gripping, emotional, utterly engrossing.’ Lisa Ballantyne (author of The Guilty One)

‘Stunning writing and wonderful nuanced characterisation. I was hooked.’ Rosamund Lupton (author of Sister)

‘An intense and brooding read, with a brilliantly claustrophobic sense of place.’ SUNDAY MIRROR

‘It’s an inspirational and compelling story.’ CANDIS: BEST FOR BOOK CLUB.

A ‘romantic mystery.’ WOMAN & HOME: PICK OF THE MONTH.

‘An emotional drama set around an American airbase in Suffolk and some strange goings-on behind the fence….A sensitive tale.’ Five Stars. PEOPLE’S FRIEND

‘A dark tale inspired by true events.’ BEST

‘The Wonderful weaves a Cold War tale of family and secrets and mystery that will seep into your soul.’ CAMPUS CIRCLE US

20 OF THE BEST BOOKS ON SHELVES THIS JANUARY: ‘Steeped in Cold War history, this coming-of-age novel (is) a complex, multi-layered and moving narrative.’ THE NATIONAL


Piatkus – UK

Flat Iron – US

Marabout – France