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What Happens to Ryle in It Starts With Us

Title: What Happens to Ryle in “It Starts With Us”? Exploring the Journey of a Complex Character

In Colleen Hoover’s compelling novel, “It Starts With Us,” readers embark on an emotional rollercoaster as they follow the entangled lives of Lily Bloom and Ryle Kincaid. While both characters face their own personal struggles, Ryle’s journey is particularly captivating. This article will delve into the intricate details of Ryle’s character arc, highlighting his growth, challenges, and the impact he has on the story.

Understanding Ryle’s Initial Persona:
Initially, Ryle is portrayed as a confident and successful neurosurgeon with a charming personality. However, beneath his polished exterior, Ryle harbors deep-rooted emotional scars that shape his choices and relationships. His commitment issues and fear of commitment are evident from the start, setting the stage for a tumultuous journey.

Ryle’s Complex Relationship with Lily:
Upon meeting Lily, Ryle finds himself irresistibly drawn to her, despite his aversion to long-term relationships. Their connection is intense, and their relationship flourishes, demonstrating Ryle’s capacity for love and vulnerability. However, as the story unfolds, darker aspects of Ryle’s personality are revealed, challenging both his character and his relationship with Lily.

Unveiling Ryle’s Dark Past:
As Ryle’s past is gradually unveiled, readers discover the traumatic childhood experiences that have shaped his commitment fears and emotional struggles. The revelation of his own father’s abusive behavior becomes a pivotal moment in understanding Ryle’s mindset, creating a complex narrative surrounding the choices he makes in his adult life.

The Breaking Point:
Ryle’s unresolved issues and destructive behavior reach a breaking point when his seemingly perfect exterior crumbles under the weight of his emotional turmoil. His actions reveal a deeply flawed character, forcing readers to question whether he is capable of change and redemption.

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Redemption and Growth:
As the story progresses, Ryle’s character undergoes a transformation, driven by introspection and a desire to rectify his past mistakes. Through therapy and self-reflection, he begins to confront his demons and make amends, displaying a genuine willingness to change.


Q: Does Ryle’s journey result in a complete transformation?
A: While Ryle’s character does experience growth and redemption, it is important to note that the journey towards change is ongoing. The novel presents a realistic portrayal of personal growth, illustrating that transformation is a process rather than an instant fix.

Q: How does Ryle’s evolution impact his relationship with Lily?
A: Ryle’s growth allows him to recognize the damage caused by his past actions and make sincere efforts to rebuild trust with Lily. Their relationship becomes a testament to forgiveness, understanding, and the power of personal growth.

Q: Does Ryle’s past justify his actions?
A: While Ryle’s past provides insight into his behavior, it does not justify his actions. The novel challenges readers to confront the complexity of human nature, highlighting that understanding one’s past does not absolve them of responsibility for their actions.

Q: Is Ryle a sympathetic character?
A: Ryle’s character is undoubtedly complex and elicits a range of emotions from readers. While some may sympathize with his traumatic past, others may struggle to reconcile his actions with their empathy. Ultimately, readers’ perspectives on Ryle may vary based on their own experiences and values.

Ryle’s character arc in “It Starts With Us” takes readers on an emotional journey filled with complexities and personal growth. From his initial charm to the revelation of his dark past, Ryle’s struggles and redemption highlight the intricacies of human nature and the power of personal transformation. Hoover masterfully crafts a flawed but relatable character, leaving readers questioning their own capacity for forgiveness and growth.

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