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Why Colleen Hoover says it’s ‘bittersweet’ that ‘It Ends With Us’ has been a bestseller for so long

The New York Times bestselling author appeared on TODAY to talk about the inspiration behind her book.
/ Source: TODAY

Colleen Hoover says the topic of domestic abuse in her bestselling novel “It Ends With Us” was inspired by her parents’ marriage.

In an interview with TODAY's Jenna Bush Hager, Hoover opened up about the novel, which follows a young woman confined by an abusive relationship. Speaking to Jenna Bush Hager, the author shared that specific components were inspired by her biological father’s treatment of her mother, and why the book's success comes with complicated feelings.

“It’s a little bittersweet ... because it’s been on The New York Times for so long. But why?” she explains. “Because people resonate with it. And it’s kind of a sad subject to resonate with.”

Her parents’ marriage loosely inspired her story about a woman named Lily Bloom, who weds a neurosurgeon in her early 20s. In her interview, the author further shared what it meant to see her mother endure the relationship in her interview with Hager and, ultimately, how she found her way out of the violent cycle.

“One of my earliest memories was him throwing a TV at her,” Hoover said of her biological father. “We grew up in an abusive household up to that point.”

Hoover shared how her own questions about the nature of her biological father’s behavior evolved into a book that drew from her mother’s story of endurance and ability to escape.

“There were no resources for women to leave situations like that,” Hoover explained, noting that her mother eventually divorced her father when she was 2. “She was able to get out of that relationship. And then from then on, I just remember growing up with a mother who was so strong and independent.”