Study Guide

The Orange Houses What's Up With the Ending?

By Paul Griffin

What's Up With the Ending?

The last words of the book are a question. After Jimmi shows up rambling, Mik's mom says:

"I better call the ambulance." Mom put the phone to her ear. "How that Jimmi does go on and on."

"Yeah," Mik said. "Will you listen to him?" (45.30-31)

Hmm… why would the book end on a question?

Our bet is that the author wants us to decide what happens next. We're bummed that Fatima gets deported and Jimmi accidentally has a hand in it, and we're even more down in the dumps that Jimmi disappears and doesn't want much help. Yet Mik gives us some hope. She starts using her hearing aids, after all, plus she stands up for Jimmi with her mom. True, we've seen this before—but something tells us that Mik's mom might be more willing to listen to her daughter after the ordeal she's just been through.

So, it's up to you to decide. What does Mik's mom say to her daughter? Over to you, Shmoopers. 

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