Skip to Content

You Shouldn’t Have Come Here: Summary and Ending Explained

This post may contain affiliate links. Read more here.


Note: the following discussion guide contains spoilers, as well as references to critical plot points and the conclusion of You Shouldn’t Have Come Here by Jeneva Rose.

Published in 2023, You Shouldn’t Have Come Here is a gripping mystery-thriller written by bestselling author Jeneva Rose. Known for her compelling narratives, Rose wrote a tale featuring a resilient female lead and intricate relationships, narrated through dual perspectives.

You Shouldn’t Have Come Here by Jeneva Rose

While the story builds towards a suspenseful climax typical of thrillers, it also intertwines elements of romance. The plot unfolds as banker Grace Evans embarks on a 10-day retreat at a ranch Airbnb near Dubois, Wyoming, leading to unforeseen and perilous revelations.

This guide is a complete summary and ending explanation for You Shouldn’t Have Come Here by Jeneva Rose.

Have a wonderful book club discussion! ✨

Summary | Ending Explained

You Shouldn’t Have Come Here Summary

Grace Evans, a New York banker, enroute to a ranch Airbnb in Dubois, Wyoming, encounters a disconcerting situation at a gas station. There, she feels uneasy with an attendant approaching her. Arriving at the ranch, hosted by the charming Calvin Wells, Grace senses discomfort due to the lack of cell service and internet.

Calvin, unveiling his taxidermy-adorned home, directs her to her room where unsettling discoveries await – women’s underwear in her dresser and a blood-streaked cracked window. Calvin explains the unsettling findings attributing them to a past guest, his late girlfriend Lisa.

As the evening progresses, Calvin prepares dinner, and Grace discloses her annual escapes for a taste of freedom. The following day, Calvin suggests activities like horseback riding and fishing, advising Grace to get clothes that can get dirty.

Car trouble emerges, and Calvin proposes his mechanic brother, Joe, for repairs. A night of chilling screams and Calvin’s casual explanation of a fox’s cry raise Grace’s suspicions. A fishing outing is interrupted by Calvin’s friend Charlotte, and Grace’s jog takes a dark turn when she stumbles upon a pit of deceased animals, rescued by Calvin. The tale takes an unexpected turn as Grace and Calvin engage in a moonlit skinny-dipping session at a riverbank after dark.

The following day, Calvin takes Grace on a horseback riding adventure. However, her horse becomes uncontrollable, leading to a fall. Concerned for her well-being, Calvin rushes her to Dr. Reed, the local physician. Dr. Reed recommends an MRI due to Grace’s memory issues, but she declines. Later, during a grocery store visit, they encounter Charlotte, who mentions Calvin’s upcoming birthday party on Saturday.

That night, Grace experiences a disturbing dream where Calvin’s taxidermized animals attack her. Calvin wakes her with wine and chocolate, providing comfort through a back rub. Their moment is interrupted by the arrival of Sheriff Almond, who presents a photo of a missing woman, a previous guest named Briana Becker, reported by Calvin to have never arrived.

The next morning, Calvin’s younger brother Joe arrives, revealing that Grace’s car will take two days to fix. In the evening, they visit a tavern with Charlotte, where a confrontation leads to Grace witnessing Calvin’s aggressive behavior. Calvin drives an intoxicated Charlotte home, leaving Grace troubled. When she questions Calvin about Joe’s history, he remains tight-lipped.

Despite the events of the previous night, Grace decides to stay, as her car is still awaiting repairs. Calvin offers to cancel his birthday party, but Grace opts to continue her stay. In an unexpected turn, Grace and Calvin share a kiss, disrupted by Joe, who claims he was too drunk to remember the previous night.

Joe apologizes to Grace. Later, she meets Wyatt, a deputy and Charlotte’s ex-husband. Following Calvin’s birthday celebration, they find themselves in a pasture where they share an intimate moment. It’s during this vulnerable time that Calvin discloses the tragic deaths of his parents in a fire and the car accident that claimed his girlfriend Lisa’s life, resulting in Joe’s six-month prison sentence for driving drunk.

The next morning, Grace wakes with a sense of being observed in the pasture. A mountain lion attacks, prompting Calvin to shoot it. Covered in the lion’s blood, Grace heads to the house to shower, followed by Calvin. They encounter Sheriff Almond, who questions Calvin about Briana. Later, Grace meets an elderly man named Albert, introduced by Calvin as another guest in the neighboring room.

Charlotte reveals her past fling with Calvin, prompting Grace to disclose her recent intimacy with him. That night, an inebriated Albert mistakenly enters Grace’s bed, leading her to demand Calvin to install a lock on her door.

The following morning, Grace awakens to find Calvin installing the lock on her door. Albert apologizes for the previous night, revealing his many allergies through a medical bracelet. Later, Wyatt arrives and confronts Calvin after seeing injuries on Charlotte’s head. Grace discloses Charlotte’s involvement with both Calvin and Joe, leading to Wyatt’s departure.

Grace convinces Calvin to join Albert for a drink. Joe arrives, beaten and intoxicated, claiming Wyatt attacked him due to Calvin’s revelation about Charlotte. Joe attempts to set the house on fire, prompting Grace to call 911. Calvin intervenes, extinguishing the flames and confronting Joe, who confesses to starting the fire. Sheriff Almond advises Grace to leave in two days.

After Calvin leaves, Grace breaks into his basement, discovering a photo revealing Albert as Calvin and Joe’s uncle. In a guestbook, she finds Briana’s last signature. Taking Calvin’s hunting knife, she encounters Betty, his surrogate mother, who warns her against being there. Realizing her bedroom lock is reversed, Grace uncovers unsettling truths.

The next morning, Calvin reports Joe’s incarceration, Albert’s disappearance, and arranges for her car’s repair. Grace questions him about the guestbook, leading to a tense confrontation. Betty, with new curtains, discovers Albert’s body near her beehives. Grace and Calvin’s awkward final night together culminates in Grace dreaming of a disturbing scenario involving Calvin.

As Grace prepares to leave, Calvin drinks drugged coffee. Her attempts to start her car fail, and Calvin becomes aggressive. In a struggle, Grace bites his finger and escapes into the house. She incapacitates Calvin with drugs, interrogates him, and learns of his culpability in Lisa’s accident and Briana’s existence in a nearby shed.

Using Calvin’s knife, she ends his life and discovers taxidermized heads of previous female guests in his closet, including a space reserved for her. Grace sets the house ablaze, frees Briana, but ultimately drives away alone.

Returning to Chicago, where her family believes she’s been on a relaxing retreat near Seattle, Avery (formerly Grace) contemplates taking her daughter on future trips due to their resemblance. The unsettling journey concludes with Avery setting fire to a gas station after reclaiming her driver’s license from the attendant who retained it and discovering her true identity.

You Shouldn’t Have Come Here Ending Explained

So, what happens at the end of You Shouldn’t Have Come Here?

In the final part of the You Shouldn’t Have Come Here, things get intense, turning the novel into a full-blown thriller. The title of the book is mentioned by four characters: Joe, Betty, Calvin, and Grace/Avery.

Avery, revealed to be quite skilled at handling dangerous situations, knows that isolating targets makes it easier to get rid of them and hide the evidence. So, she sees Calvin and his ranch as perfect targets for her plans. Even though there are usually many people around Calvin’s house, Avery cleverly sets things up to have him isolated on her last day there.

During her ten-day stay, Avery often expresses fear, especially about Calvin’s unpredictable behavior. She’s cautious, not wanting to confront him until she’s fully prepared. Sheriff Almond stands out among the supporting characters, rightly suspecting Calvin of kidnapping Briana. Interestingly, this investigation messes up the plans of another serial killer, Avery, who ends up saving Briana, the person Almond was looking for.

However, Avery can’t do much more for Briana without putting herself in trouble. The tension rises at the gas station when the attendant discovers Grace’s real name, making him a threat. Avery quickly deals with this threat by setting the gas station on fire, a move similar to Joe’s misguided attempt to “save” her.

Avery tries to justify her killings, setting her apart from minor characters and Calvin. Unlike them, she doesn’t root her actions in universal themes; she claims to be a natural-born killer. Despite having a seemingly happy family, a nice home, and wealth, she sees her yearly retreats as a way to balance her otherwise “irrational” life.

Avery and Calvin both observe animal behavior leading to their final clash. In Chapter 15, she sees her horse’s sudden gallop as its inner beast emerging, a natural part of its behavior. This perspective applies to the raccoon attack in Chapter 8 and Avery’s encounter with a mountain lion in Chapter 31. These retreats, for her, serve to temper her own beast-like instincts. She even sees this potential in her daughter Margo, who she believes shares her traits.

Jeneva Rose cleverly blends romance, mystery, and thriller genres, delivering two twists simultaneously. This conceals Avery’s true nature behind Calvin’s more obvious schemes. A departure from literary norms happens in Chapter 53 when Rose directly addresses the reader, saying, “You like to read.” This mirrors Avery’s control over both Calvin and the reader.

The novel permanently shifts to Grace/Avery’s first-person perspective after she kills Calvin in Chapter 48. Like a predatory animal, Avery used her intellect and physicality, especially her sexuality, to manipulate every situation within her control from the start of her vacation, including her relationship with the reader.

How did you like the ending of the novel? Happy reading! ❤️