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For me, epilogues can either be the part of the book that makes me smile and want to hug the book or can ruin a book I otherwise loved. I’m not always a hundred percent sure that they’re necessary but I do enjoy them if they’re done right.
There are two kinds of epilogues that have come to my attention, one that I hate and one that I love.
The ‘what happened later‘ epilogue: sums up the characters lives 5+ years later and explains where everyone ended up, who got together with who, etc. This very rarely works for me as it usually annoys me to no end. I don’t want to know what happens to the characters. That’s for me as a reader to guess at, not for the author to tell me. I want to be able to imagine the characters lives after the book ends myself; I want to think that the story continues long after I’ve finished reading the last pages.
The ‘what’s going to happen‘ epilogue: reads like a second ending to the book that wraps up loose ends and points the characters in different directions. This is what all epilogues should be like in my opinion. This helps me imagine the characters lives continuing after the book ends while at the same time providing a satisfying end to the book.