Lotta Loose Ends

The ending of Nevada is frustratingly anti-climactic. The book ends with James ditching Maria at a casino to go back to his unsatisfying relationship with his girlfriend. There’s no more after that; no resolution with Maria or what she’s going to do. There are a TON of loose ends left.

The ending, in my opinion, is super absurdist. There’s no meaning or anything to the ending; it simply ends with James wishing his girlfriend would give him head, something very mundane and sexual . Compared to a lot of the other books we read which at least had an ending, this is extremely different. Compare it to Zami where Lorde ends it with philosophical musings on her own life and struggles in the book. Not just narratively, there’s something missing in the ending of Nevada. There’s no closure, none.

I’m sure this is completely intentional on Binnie’s part. Perhaps she wanted to instill the frustrating bleakness of life or something equally depressing. There’s not a lot of room for happy interpretations here.

Looking at this from the perspective of Maria as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl as I posted earlier, it’s a definite subversion of the trope. Maria just absolutely fails at being a Manic Pixie Dream Girl here. James just ditches her and just goes back to his previous way of living. You really can’t fix a person if they really don’t want to be fixed.

Of all the books we read this semester, I feel like this has one of the more bleak endings. I know it leaves me bleak.


  1. Why do you think Imogen Binnie ended the novel this way?
  2. Do you think James was justified in leaving? Why or why not?

3 thoughts on “Lotta Loose Ends

  1. I was also really frustrated with the ending of the book, especially since we spent so much of the first half of the novel getting invested in Maria’s character only for it to end without her. I’ll admit it was interesting for the “wild journey of self discovery” to end up just being an anticlimactic and sort of awkward trip to a casino. I think Binnie did a good job subverting the trope that people can meet one person and go on a random trip with them that ends up changing their life, simply because that just doesn’t happen in real life. She showed that any change in James’ life would have to come hard-fought from himself, not an effort on Maria’s behalf. But I was really disappointed that we get no closure for Maria, and that our last glimpse of her makes her feel like a distant stranger rather than a protagonist we’ve been following through the whole book.


  2. I can empathize with the open ended finale to this novel! Where is the resolution? How do we know that Maria has come to terms with her position in the big bad world she has constructed for herself?


    • ^^^ This is a continuation of my previous comment that was submitted prematurely (on accident). I think that Binnie illustrated the dynamic of this ending to exemplify a larger frustration with identity and self discovery. Ultimately, there is no “closure” in life. We are reading Maria’s narrative post-transition. This is important, as many of the challenges in her relationships and self perception are pertinent to the novel’s thematics. I think that the ending exemplifies an overarching theme: transitions lead to other transitions. Maria’s decision to become a woman didn’t solve all of her problems, and it can be assessed that in a way, her transition opened her life up to a new set of insecurities and disappointments. Therefore this ending “without closure” is fundamental to the novel’s theme suggesting that in life, there is no true end-all-be-all. Instead, we must make our decisions to better ourselves, and adapt to the new set of challenges these decisions erect.


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