If you could rewrite the ending of any book, which book would it be? And how would you change it?
Oh, there’s plenty of books that need a punchier ending, especially installments in a series. But my immediate reaction to seeing this question was to change the ending of Little Women.
In Little Women, Jo and Laurie are clearly meant for each other–they’re adorable and a little awkward around each other, they get each other, and Laurie is handsome and loaded. But because Jo was based on Louisa May Alcott and Laurie was based on a friend, Alcott was reluctant to pair them off, despite the outpouring of fan mail demanding it. (Little Women was published in two parts.) To spite them, Alcott paired Laurie off with one of Jo’s sisters and Jo off with a German professor twice her age. As you can imagine, I was not happy to see this, and I’d change the ending to have Jo and Laurie end up together.
If I could change one thing more, I’d keep Lev Grossman from writing that sequel to The Magicians; having a sequel destroys the beautifully ambiguous ending of the first book. But who knows? He might pull it off well, so I think I’d just stick with the Little Women rewrite.