The ending is the best part of the book for myself. Not because was desperate to finish, but I like books without a traditional fairytale ending; it is more real. I think the concept of the book was probably intending to get across that life in 80s and indeed subsequently does not run like a 19th century Austin novel but it is only on the last page that this really comes across.
It leaves with question, was Mitchel being kind to Madeline? Or was it a case that once he has slept with her, she lost her appeal?