creativity / inspiring / reading / writing

Great Closing Lines

People often talk about the importance of great opening lines in books. And of course they’re important. They draw the reader in – give a flavour of what’s to come. But what about the last line of the book? Surely that is just as important. For these are the very last words we read. They finish off the story. They might make us cry, smile, gasp or really think. A powerful last line can stay with you for a long time.

And so I thought I’d share with you some of my favourites…Unknown-1

“‘You aren’t a hero and I’m not beautiful, and we probably won’t live happily ever after,’ she said. ‘But we’re alive, and together, and we’re going to be all right.’” Mortal Engines, Philip Reeve

“And that is the very end of the adventure of the wardrobe. But if the Professor was right it was only the beginning of the adventures of Narnia.” The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S Lewis.

Not now Bernard
“‘But I’m a monster,’ said the monster. ‘Not now Bernard,’ said Bernard’s mother.”  Not now, Bernard, David McKee


“Do dogs fly? Is it true? Some dogs don’t, and some dogs do.” Jez Alborough, Some Dogs Do

“‘Yes of course, moonsquirters are my favourites. You didn’t think they were tomatoes, did you Charlie?'” I will not ever never eat a tomato, Lauren Child

green eggs“I do so like green eggs and ham. Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-am!”  Green
Eggs and Ham
, Dr Seuss

“There was nothing more left in this world of Mr and Mrs Twit. And everyone, including Fred, shouted… ‘HOORAY!’” The Twits, Roald Dahl

“But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.” The House At Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne

White dolphin

“I know deep down inside, the white dolphin will never be alone. The vast blue ocean is waiting for her, and this is only the beginning of her story.” White Dolphin, Gill Lewis

“‘Oh I will,’ said Harry, and they were surprised with the grin that was spreading over his face. They don’t know we’re not allowed to use magic at home. I’m going to have a lo of fun with Dudley this summer…’” Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J K Rowling

The girl sho walked on air

“Once a showstopper, always a showstopper. And right now it was showtime.” The Girl who Walked on Air, Emma Carroll

 “Then, passing the coin to the ferryman, and with a backward glance at my family and friends, I join Jack and Remus as the boat sails off into eternity.” Minty, Christina Banach

“‘Oh Maria’, Number One replied. ‘I’m not going to kill you. You’re going to be much to useful for that.’” HIVE Overlord Protocol, Mark Waldon

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” Animal Farm, George OrwellPhoenix

“A new sun was shining down on them. A new star was born.” Phoenix, S F Said


Do you have any favourite last lines? Is there one that you know off by heart? One that you have never forgotten…



6 thoughts on “Great Closing Lines

  1. I saw agree with you! I was only thinking about this yesterday – as a writer, the last line is possibly the one that will lead a reader to your next book – and it doesn’t have to be a hook for a follow up – a good last line should hit you in the heart and stay there- it should be round and satisfying – it’s hard to read them out of context but I like the ending of a Fault in out Stars “I do, Augustus, I do.”

    It’s such a sad book but the ending is, somehow, so hopeful.

    • I love how you say it should hit you in the heart and stay there. That’s exactly what I think. I still haven’t read Fault in our Stars as the themes are a bit too close to home. It’s great that the last line leaves the taste of hope…

  2. “Good night, little girls!
    Thank the lord you are well!
    And now go to sleep!”
    said Miss Clavel.
    And she turned out the light-
    and closed the door-
    and that’s all there is-
    there isn’t any more.

    Madeleine – by Ludwig Bemelmans (that’s from memory but I’m fairly sure it’s right)

    And they also bought a very big tin of Tiger Food, in case the tiger should come to tea again. But he never did.

    The Tiger Who Came to Tea – Judith Kerr

    And I do love that line from The House at Pooh Corner!

    • I’m incredibly impressed that you know the last line off by heart. It just shows how a closing line can make a lasting impression. And I adore the one from The Tiger Who Came to Tea. It’s a whole mixture of humour, kindness, hope and a little disappointment.

  3. ‘But the sun was showing only a scarlet fingernail. Ceasefire jumped, and the dark wood swallowed them.’

    Flambards Divided – K.M.Peyton

    And the last line from Black Beauty, which always makes me cry, but in a good way!

    Great post, Tamsin.

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