Never Let Me Go meets Black Mirror in this thrilling dystopian debut about a tech company that deletes unwanted memories, the consequences for those forced to contend with what they tried to forget, and the dissenting doctor who seeks to protect her patients from further harm.
What if you once had a painful memory removed? And what if you were offered the chance to get it back?
Tell Me an Ending follows four characters grappling with the question of what to remember—and what they hoped to forget forever.
Finn, an Irish architect living in the Arizona desert, begins to suspect his charming wife of having an affair. Mei, a troubled grad school drop-out in Kuala Lumpur, wonders why she remembers a city she’s never visited. William, a former police inspector in England, struggles with PTSD, the breakdown of his marriage, and his own secret family history. Oscar, a handsome young man with almost no memories at all, travels the world in a constant state of fear.
Into these characters lives comes Noor, an emotionally closed-off psychologist at the memory removal clinic in London, who begins to suspect her glamorous boss Louise of serious wrongdoing.
Clever and propulsive, Tell Me an Ending is a speculative novel exploring what the world would be like if we were able to wipe away our worst moments. In this polyphonic tale, author Jo Harkin raises provocative questions about the nature of memory, through characters who confront new knowledge about themselves and a need for answers, meaning, connection, and story.
About the Author
Jo Harkin studied literature at university. She daydreamed her way through various jobs in her twenties before becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Berkshire, England, and Tell Me an Ending is her first novel.
"As thought-provoking as it is suspenseful.” —CrimeReads
“Thrilling. . . . Harkin masterfully probes her characters, questioning whether deleted memories translate into altered narratives that fundamentally transform who a person is.” —Shelf Awareness Pro
"This high-concept debut asks an interesting question: What if we could edit our memories? . . . Harkin builds a picture of a world radically altered by a controversial technology and of people who are learning that you can’t change the past without impacting the present. An intellectually and emotionally satisfying thriller." —Booklist
"A richly imagined debut. Harkin keeps the plot tight and times her reveals effectively. It adds up to a smart speculative outing.” —Publishers Weekly
“Intriguing and compelling. . . . Interconnected storylines all arrive at the same conclusion: Messing with memory is messy business.” —Kirkus Reviews
"Clever and imaginative, Tell Me an Ending is a riveting and thought-provoking exploration of one of our most precious and fragile powers: the ability to remember the moments of our lives." —Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Dreamers
“An extraordinary novel—intelligent and searching, with deep questions about humanity, history and self. Expansive in its scope and themes, but never losing touch with its characters’ hearts and minds, Tell Me an Ending is gripping, inventive, and a memory I’ll never forget.” —Emma Stonex, author of The Lamplighters
"A twisting, electric debut exploring the potential for a life without our most painful or regretful memories. Tell Me an Ending examines the intersection of self and memory—when chosen memories can be removed—and how what we attempt to leave behind eventually catches up with us." —Meredith Westgate, author of The Shimmering State
"A cautionary tale about technology making its way into the very depths of our personal lives, Tell Me an Ending is thought-provoking and utterly compulsive." —Tahmima Anam, author of The Startup Wife
"Suspenseful, richly imagined, and brimming with compassion, Jo Harkin’s Tell Me an Ending poses tantalizing questions about technology, ethics, capitalism, memory, trauma, and fate. How far would we go to live a happier life? Who are we without the memories that have shaped us? A feat of ingenious, intricate world-building. I finished the last page desperate to discuss this brilliant novel with everyone I know." —Jessamine Chan, author of The School for Good Mothers