In fiction as in life, a person needs hope―even if it is simply the unconscious assumption that he or she will live to see another day.
Moreover, even a story that takes place in a dystopian post-apocalypse world requires that characters have hope for the future, however desperate that hope may be. And most readers prefer that the light at the end of the tunnel be visible, if not reached, by the end of the tale.
Happy endings may be cliché to some, but they are by far the most popular way to finish a novel.
What is your favourite ending in a book?
[Thanks to freeimages.com/Vinny Prime for the featured image.]