Blog Tour Stop: The Beginning after the End by Hafsa Idrees

Apparently, this year I have a knack for characters that piss me off. I still love them and enjoy the stories, but January books held a lot of “What the hell?”moments for yours truly. Hafsa Idrees’ book, The Beginning after the End is a story of love from the metaphorical, platonic, philosophical perspective. It is the story of Chrissie and her discovery of love, passion, jealousy, and acceptance of loss.

Before I continue my rant on the book, here’s the official blurb:

[blockquote style=”1″]What can the fear of losing the ones we love push us to do? In Chrissie’s case, it has pushed her to distance herself from Allan, the man she loves more than anything else in the world. She knows he will not marry her, that they don’t have a future together. But why does “out of sight” not mean “out of mind”?

The wall that Chrissie has built around herself becomes a prison. As she fights for survival in the cold world she has created, she gets an unexpected letter from Allan. This letter changes her life forever. [/blockquote]

Chrissie falls in love with her best friend. He warns her to step back, as his feelings are different. Her decision is to build walls around herself, stop interacting with people,  and try hard to forget the man. Her solitude is distracted by a letter from Allan who expresses the same intensity and the very same nature of love. Yet he once again mentions not being able to be with her (marriage and a physical relationship are the same to these two).

The reason for their actions? Fear. Chrissie is afraid of the pain caused by being his friend when she wants more. Allan is afraid he’d disappoint her as a husband, that he is not good enough. These two spend an enormous amount of time together, they are really a couple, without ever touching each other. They go out, enjoy meals together, write to each other and call often, he picks her up at the airport. They also make promises to always be together. There is no mention of any other love interest on any side.

If my reason for being angry is not obvious by now, well, they’re are pretty much missing their chance. Such strong connections are rare, and keeping each other at arm’s length is cruel. At the same time, neither is able to let go and move on. It was a relationship that was interesting to watch as it progressed. Sure, I wanted to slap them into their senses, especially Allan.

The story is written from Chrissie’s perspective. Her struggle to understand herself, her feelings, the world she lives in, to deal with her pain and find her place, is evident. Her take on life is interesting, her manner of interacting with people is insightful. There are a few issues with the timeline, as in you have to pay attention as the passing of time is not always clearly marked, but Chrissie’s gentleness and beautiful mind will touch your heart.

The Beginning after the End is not your typical fairy tale romance. It’s a story of love and loss, of pain and everyday torture. There are also quite a few lessons to be learned, also a deep need to reevaluate life and what’s actually important.

About Hafsa Idrees

Hafsa Idrees, is a multifaceted budding 21 years old Pakistani writer who has contributed as a content writer for a number of websites and magazines. She holds “The 2010 Regional Ricoh (USA) Sustainable and Development Award” for her contribution to the joint Entomology research paper for INTEL ISEF 2010. She also wrote for GOI Peace Foundation Japan. She has numerous honors credited to her name including the Editor and Ambassador of Pakistan’s First Youth Newspaper “Shascha”, SEO Manager of Revolution Flame, Head of the Creative Department at Fortune Technologies and the Award for “Best Ten Paintings” on World Science Day For Peace Development (2006) by Pakistan Science Foundation. She just published her debut novel on Contemporary Literary Fiction “The Beginning after the End”. Her short story “Bridge of Sighs” was the only one from Pakistan which made its way in to the 100 words’ stories collection of 2013 from all over the world. Having graduated from Punjab University, Lahore with roll of honor, currently she is pursuing her Masters in Anthropology from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.

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A pleasure to meet you! I’m Alina Popescu, an author, traveler, and hopeless coffee addict. I write urban fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and sometimes even contemporary stories. A significant number of my books are LGBTQ fiction and romance.

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8 Responses to “Blog Tour Stop: The Beginning after the End by Hafsa Idrees”

  1. anisa says:

    having enjoy reading your review of Hafsa Idrees’s novel Alina 😉

    next welcoming for my turn, review the same at at 5th february 😉

  2. Sue says:

    To clarify, Ms. Popescu, I’m assuming you meant “Chrissie fears” and not “Hafsa fears” in the second paragraph after the blurb.

    Your review speaks very clearly from a westerner’s perspective about relationships and the frustration of watching two people resist what seems to us to be the golden opportunity for a happily-ever-after ending. Your analysis of the author’s insight and depth are excellent recommendations for reading Beginning After the End.

    However, I can’t help but wonder if Ms. Indrees’ book might also serve as a wonderful pathway into a discussion about the different cultural attitudes Pakistan and the US hold toward romantic relationships between men and women.

    • Alina Popescu says:

      Yup, nice catch, thank you! I am not exactly a westerner and some of those beliefs were taught to me while growing up – sex only after marriage, etc. But yes, this is a review written by someone who sees things a little differently. Also, the story does not happen in Pakistan, it’s set in modern day Arizona. But the discussion you suggest would be certainly very interesting.

  3. Eesha Shah says:

    Hafsa Idrees is the bright side of our beloved Pakistan, I’m proud of her. A high-spirit soul abd an ambiitious youth. Love you Hafsa!

  4. hammad says:

    seems like a real life story.looking forward to it

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