It Ends with Us Book Summary

Synopsis of It Ends with Us. it is a romance novel by Colleen Hoover, published on August 2, 2016. Based on the relationship between her mother and father, Hoover described it as "the hardest book I've ever written".

As of 2019, the novel had sold over one million copies worldwide and been translated into over twenty languages. A sequel titled It Starts with Us was published in October 2022.


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It Ends with Us Synopsis

It Ends With Us Summary

When the novel opens, Lily Bloom sits on the roof of a building in Boston, looking out at the city and the stars, thinking about death. She’s just come from her father’s funeral. She’s reflecting on how much she resents her father for abusing her mother when a man joins her on the roof and starts angrily kicking a patio chair.

The man, Ryle Kincaid, is a neurosurgeon, and the two begin to flirt and tell each other increasingly intimate “naked truths.” Ryle reveals that he lost a child patient because the child’s brother shot him accidentally. Lily tells Ryle that she gave the eulogy at her abusive father’s funeral and couldn’t think of anything nice to say, so she stood there for two minutes in purposeful silence.

Lily also tells Ryle she lost her virginity to a homeless boy named Atlas. Ryle tells Lily he wants to sleep with her, but he only has one-night stands and never wants to get married or have children. Though Lily is interested in Ryle, she can’t imagine having sex without it leading to a relationship.

Six months later, Lily uses her inheritance to buy a storefront to convert into a flower shop. A woman named Allysa offers to work for Lily, and the two become fast friends. Lily and Allysa are cleaning up the storefront when Lily falls and hurts her ankle. Allysa calls her husband Marshall and her brother for help. When Allysa’s brother arrives, Lily sees that it’s Ryle.

They pretend not to know each other for Allysa’s sake, but Ryle tells Lily that he still wants to sleep with her. They decide they need to stay away from each other because they want different things. As Lily recovers from her sprained ankle for a week, she reads her teenage journals, which were written as letters addressed to Ellen DeGeneres. They tell the story of Atlas and Lily.

As a teenager, Lily notices a boy is living in an abandoned house behind hers. She feels for Atlas and begins to leave him food, lend him her father’s clothes, and let him shower at her house. The two become closer and begin to fall in love, and Atlas becomes a confidant and protector for Lily when her father hurts her and her mother.

The two watch Ellen and Finding Nemo together and tell each other to “just keep swimming” when times get tough, quoting a line from the movie. Atlas learns a family member can take him in in Boston, and though Lily dreads it, Atlas moves away to find more stability.

She’s heartbroken, but he returns on her 16th birthday. He gives her a magnet that says that everything is better in Boston. They make love for the first time. Atlas promises to come for Lily when he feels that his life is good enough for her.

Then Lily’s father walks in on them. He savagely beats Atlas with a baseball bat. Atlas is taken away in an ambulance. This is the last time Lily sees Atlas, and throughout her life, she wonders why Atlas never came back for her.

Back in the present, Ryle pursues Lily, and after trying to get her to have sex with him, he admits he has feelings for her. Lily insists they not have sex and try dating, since she doesn’t trust him to have a relationship with her. They quickly start falling for each other.

After they have been dating for a bit, Ryle invites himself to dinner with Lily and her mom. At dinner, Lily sees Atlas working at the restaurant. She’s shocked. During a brief conversation, Atlas tells Lily he has a girlfriend but that he wishes they had run into each other a year ago.

Lily doesn’t tell Ryle that she ran into Atlas and tries to avoid going back to the restaurant again. One night, when Ryle and Lily are hanging out, Ryle burns himself on a casserole dish he tries to take out of the oven without a mitt.

When Lily laughs, Ryle pushes her, and she hits her head. She’s bleeding, and she feels horrified and heartbroken, immediately worrying she’s turned into her mother. He’s quickly apologetic and eventually she forgives him, saying that if anything violent happens again, she’ll leave him.

They go to dinner with Allysa and Marshall at the same restaurant where Atlas works to celebrate that Allysa and Marshall are going to have a baby. Atlas comes to the table and the waiter introduces him as the chef. Atlas notices that both Lily and Ryle are injured and intuits that Ryle hurt her. When they are alone, Atlas tells Lily to leave Ryle.

When she refuses, he says she’s like her mother. Ryle sees them together, and he learns that the chef is Atlas, the boy from Lily’s past. It comes to blows and Atlas throws Ryle out of his restaurant. Lily assures Ryle that nothing is going on between her and Atlas. They enjoy a period of peace and decide to get married in Vegas. But Ryle’s jealousy continues to simmer.

When Ryle discovers that Atlas has given Lily his phone number, he flies into a jealous rage and pushes Lily down the stairs. She’s badly injured. When Allysa finds out what happened, she insists Ryle tell Lily about his past. He confesses that, just like the young patient he lost the night they met, his brother died of a gunshot wound because Ryle accidentally shot him. He marks this as the origin of his rage. Lily forgives him, and they try to be together again.

Allysa and Marshall have a baby and name her after Ryle. The night Rylee is born, Lily comes home to find Ryle in a strange mood. He makes her read an article in the newspaper in which Atlas mentions a woman who is special to him and says that the name of his restaurant (Bib’s) means “Better in Boston.”

Ryle has the magnet in his hand and has read all of Lily’s teenage journals. He attempts to rape Lily and headbutts her so hard she blacks out. She calls Atlas to come get her, and he takes her to the hospital, where she discovers she’s pregnant.

She takes her time figuring out what she wants for her life, confused by her emotions for Atlas and by all her conflicting feelings of rage and love and hurt for Ryle. She gradually lets Ryle back into her life in a platonic way, telling him about the baby, though she’s unsure what she wants from him.

When the baby is born, Lily and Ryle name her Emerson, after Ryle’s brother. Lily says she wants a divorce because she would never want her daughter to endure what she and her mother did. Ryle agrees, though he is heartbroken about it. They share custody of Emerson. One day, Lily runs into Atlas. He says his life is good enough for Lily now, so if she’s ever ready to fall in love again, he’s there for her. She says she’s ready, and they embrace. He says she can stop swimming.

You may also like to read: It Starts with Us Book Summary

It Ends with Us Themes

Cycles of Abuse and Domestic Violence: The central theme of the novel is the cycle of abuse, primarily focusing on the abusive relationship between Lily and Ryle. Ryle's controlling behavior, manipulation, and emotional and physical violence illustrate the insidious nature of abuse and its pervasive impact on the victim's life. The cyclical nature of the abuse highlights the difficulty of escaping its grasp and the long-term trauma it inflicts.

Self-Love and Finding One's Worth: Lily's journey is one of self-discovery and healing as she learns to prioritize her own well-being and recognize her intrinsic worth. Her experiences with Atlas remind her of her past strength and potential, while her struggles with Ryle force her to confront her own doubts and vulnerabilities. Ultimately, the novel emphasizes the importance of self-love, self-respect, and setting healthy boundaries in relationships.

The Impact of the Past on the Present: Lily's childhood spent witnessing her mother's abusive relationship casts a long shadow on her present. Her fear of repeating her mother's mistakes and her tendency to prioritize others' happiness over her own are deeply rooted in her past experiences. The novel explores the lasting impact of trauma and the importance of addressing past wounds to build a healthy future.

Choosing Happiness and Breaking Free: Lily's decision to leave Ryle is a pivotal moment in the story, symbolizing her choice to prioritize her own safety and happiness. Despite the fear and uncertainty, she finds the strength to break free from the cycle of abuse and embark on a journey of self-discovery and healing. This act of courage inspires readers to face their own struggles and make choices that align with their personal well-being.

The Role of Support and Community: Lily's support system, including her childhood friend Atlas and other female characters, play a crucial role in her healing journey. Their unwavering support, understanding, and practical assistance create a safe space for Lily to grow and heal. The novel highlights the importance of community and positive relationships in overcoming challenges and building resilience.

Forgiveness and Moving Forward: The concept of forgiveness is explored in the context of both self-forgiveness and forgiving others. Lily grapples with forgiving herself for enabling the abuse and for not leaving Ryle sooner. The novel suggests that forgiveness is not about condoning the actions of others but about releasing oneself from the emotional burden of anger and resentment.

Hope and Resilience: Despite the darkness and pain explored in the narrative, "It Ends with Us" ultimately offers a message of hope and resilience. Lily's journey demonstrates that healing is possible, that love can be found again, and that happiness can be built even after experiencing trauma. The novel serves as a beacon of hope for those facing similar challenges, encouraging them to find their own strength and overcome adversity.


synopsis of it ends with us
Synopsis of it Ends with Us

it ends with us plot summary
it Ends with us Plot Summary

Questions and Answers about it ends with us plot

Does It Ends With Us have a happy ending? If the book ended there, we could cheer her survival and courage. But at the end of the novel, which takes place a year later and which Hoover clearly intends to be a redemption scene, we see Lily and Ryle, amicably divorced and co-parenting their daughter.

Can a 14 year old read It Ends With Us? No. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover is not appropriate for children or Young Adults. It is only appropriate for Mature Adults aged 17 and over. It contains adult themes, including domestic violence, and explicit romantic content.

What did Ryle do to Lily? After the incident, Ryle appeared to be improving, but one night he again confronted Lily over her relationship with Atlas, threatening her, almost raping her, and hurting her when she tried to defend herself. He headbutted her and refused to listen when she asked him to stop.

Is It Ends With Us spicy? Conversation. tbh … i saw persons blaming Colleen, but it's on the community for romanticising it, It's a beautiful book but it's not Erotic to be considered spicy.

Did Lily marry Ryle in It Ends With Us? 'It Ends with Us', follows Lily Bloom, the protagonist, as she moves to Boston and meets neurosurgeon, Ryle, who she ends up marrying.

What part of It Ends With Us is sad? I cried so hard when Lily delivered Emerson and she finally tells Ryle she wants a divorce and she starts asking him what he would do if Emerson came home and said she was being abused, and then he broke down and said he's beg her to leave him no matter how much he loved her. I cried so hard.

Is Ends With Us a sad book? It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover will have you feeling every emotion within the span of 376 pages. The story itself is heartbreaking and inspiring, sad and happy, romantic and painful. It is eye-opening to the ways that sometimes the people we love the most end up hurting us the most.

Why is It Ends With Us so heartbreaking? “It Ends With Us” is a heartbreaking tale about domestic abuse and violence with a heartbreakingly necessary ending. In interviews and the author's note to the book, Hoover explained that many events in the book were inspired by real happenings of her and her mother's life.

Who does Lily end up with in the book It Ends With Us? In the end Ryle is still angry, but has come to terms that Lily and Atlas will be together. The book then ends with a four year jump where Lily and Atlas are getting married and are happy with Lily's daughter and Atlas's younger brother.

Does it starts with us have spicy scenes? It Starts With Us brings back many familiar and favorite characters and introduces some intriguing new ones. And although there are a few steamy sex scenes, it's less edgy than. Most of the writing is less corny, although there are still some gems like using being "taken" for having sex.

Was Lily pregnant when Ryle pushed her? Emmy Kincaid is the daughter of Ryle and Lily. Lily finds out she is pregnant with Emmy when she is in ER being treated for injuries Ryle inflicted on her.

Do Lily and Atlas sleep together? Lily and Atlas kiss for the first time as adults. After the wedding, they have sex, and afterward, they discuss their past.

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