Grondi - no offense taken. I tried to prepare them, but my mom and I got waylaid on a discussion of God in the books that I didn't get a chance to explain the basic story to her. My fault. But also, it wasn't she who complained about the lack of an ending, she was just repeating what the woman in the bathroom said.
It's a great idea to start her with the Hobbit, and I'll do that.
As far as religion goes, I disagree with the comments made here, so far. I cannot think of a single society that does not believe in some form of higher being, and when you create a world that is basically populated with humanoids operating in sort of an English mirror world, I find it odd that they do not have religion or a higher postAuthorIDity into which they put their faith, especially the men (as opposed to the elvish peoples).
I'm not saying that one of our religions should have been in the books, but I think it's an element that is missing from Tolkien's world.
But, I completely understand why Tolkien didn't do it, considering what PS explained.
I do disagree about religion in books however, and I think Dune is an example of a book where religion takes on a significance that has meaning to the characters but doesn' t promote the religion itself. I think Frank Herbert admitted to himself that in a world of humans, there will always be some form of religion, and with great foresight, the religion in Dune is a combination of Christianity and Islam - I've always thought that was fascinating and quite prophetic, especially considering world events.