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This Is How It Ends Paperback – 9 May 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (9 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751548359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751548358
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kathleen MacMahon is a former radio and television journalist with Ireland's national broadcaster, RTE. The grand-daughter of the distinguished short story writer Mary Lavin, Kathleen lives in Dublin with her husband and twin daughters. The hardback edition of This is How it Ends, her first novel, was a No.1 bestseller in Ireland for five consecutive weeks and spent nine weeks in the Top Ten bestseller list.

Product Description

Review

It will leave you a weeping mess just as Em and Dex's story did. It will also leave you feeling utterly bereft to no longer be in its company (Observer)

Be warned. MacMahon subtly weaves her readers so tightly into her story that when she rolls out her shattering ending it's best to be alone. Stave off the tears if you can: I was a wreck (Sunday Times)

When you have long forgotten many other fictional lovers, there is something about Addie and Bruno, their past and their world, that will not go away (Maeve Binchy, The Irish Times)

This richly poetic first novel combines a strong contemporary feel with a sense of timelessness. MacMahon's prose fizzes from page one. As the title suggests this is a poignant book yet remarkably life-affirming thanks to the sheer quality of MacMahon's writing. Her characterisation is deft and believable. She has perfect control of tone and a gift for piercing metaphor. I predict a glittering future (Daily Express)

It has 'future classic' written all over it (Glamour)

An exceptional novel . . . It is truly a story for our time (Irish Independent)

Kathleen MacMahon's prose could not appear more effortless or beautiful . . . The twist in this tale is utterly unexpected and satisfyingly unpredictable . . . A bittersweet novel that will no doubt become a book-club darling (Sunday Independent)

A tender love story. A book about love, family, children and that glorious sense of being alive (Irish Examiner)

This is a love story like no other (Mirror)

An all-consuming love story . . . that can't fail to enchant you (Heat)

I found myself relating to every character, charmed into enjoying their world and not wanting it to end (Stylist)

This is an outstanding debut novel which will linger long in your mind (Red Magazine)

The force of it takes you by stealth until you realise you're swallowing furiously, to keep down the lump in your throat (Psychologies)

. . . crunchingly big finish which packs an undeniable punch (Daily Mail)

Is MacMahon the new Donoghue, capable of winning plaudits from critics and sales from readers eager to see their own lives reflected in fiction? (Sunday Business Post Ireland)

Summer 2012's One Day, this is a love story with an ominous feel that haunts from page one (Easy Living)

Sometimes you read a book that takes your breath away - this was the book . . . This Is How It Ends grabs you very gently at the beginning and urges you to continue, it wraps you up in its charm and leaves you bereft (in a good way). An emotional rollercoaster of two people thrown together, at a strange time in a less than ordinary way, I defy you not to be moved (Woman's Way)

Throughout the book, the narrative remains both beautiful and understated - and is perhaps all the more dramatic for it (Fabulous Magazine)

This wonderful new author is a force to be reckoned with (Dubray Books)

If you enjoyed One Day, you'll love this. Utterly charming and packed with humour, this novel is carried by its characters' charisma. Completely engrossing right up until the unbearably moving conclusion (Sunday Mirror)

This book is as powerful in the early, glorious unfurling of an unexpected, unlooked for love as it is in the build to the gut-wrenching finale (Star Magazine)

Wonderfully written, MacMahon creates characters that will linger long in your mind. Keep the tissues nearby, you will need them (Daily Express)

Book Description

A Richard and Judy Summer 2013 Book Club title.

Be moved, enchanted and shocked by this all-consuming tale of finding love when you least expect it, by the No.1 bestselling Irish author


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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sue Kichenside TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the story of late-developing love between a 38-year old Dublin woman, Addie and a 50-year old American, Bruno, who comes to Ireland to trace his roots. The year is 2008. Bruno has recently been sacked from Lehman's in the financial meltdown and is fervently hoping for Barack Obama to be elected in the US election. Addie is an out-of-work architect and daughter of a cantankerous doctor father. She is also the owner of a dog called Lola, a key character in the story and a delightful one. Addie and Bruno are not expecting to find love - indeed, they had both given up looking for it - and the scene in which they meet, courtesy of Lola the dog, is very well written and a delightful set piece. Other characters in the book are also well drawn: I particularly liked Addie's older sister Della though was less convinced by Addie's father, Hugh. Everyone walks on eggshells around him but his prickliness was not exactly terrifying and the side-plot of his big, dark secret petered out a bit. Other than that, the story-telling is good and the growing love between the two main characters genuinely heart-warming. It's clear fairly early on that something is going to go wrong. Without giving anything away, I would just say that I found this aspect of the book deeply disappointing. It is as though writers today have a real problem writing about happiness, as though it is not a "real story" unless there is conflict/tragedy/disaster, whatever.

Why is this? What actually is wrong with a happy story?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Irena on 21 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a good holiday read, I guess. I was expecting something with more weight and found some of the interactions between the characters unbelievable and not well developed. The subject matter is interesting but I'd like to have read something with more grit. I was disappointed at the end as it felt those serious issues were left hanging, and the author used the title to exit from her story which also gave a sense of artificiality to the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LoganberryJohnson on 23 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
I've never been prompted to write a book review before, but this book made me want to, because I found it so frustrating and manipulative.There's so much press on how good this book is & I can't understand it, it made me so annoyed. The book is full of unfinished ideas, half started plot lines, total changes in writing style (the first chapter descibes events in minute detail, later plot lines are dealt with in such broad strokes, you're left guessing the intent) and unending missed opportunities, where it could have become a good book, it just becomes too frustrating to read. You keep waiting for Addie's backstory to realise itself, her mother died, she doesn't know her family history, along comes Bruno to dig into the past, we start along this course but it peters out without resolution. Is it a love story? We're told they are in love, but there's no depth to their story, which mainly features unending unspoken concern about whether he'll return to America. There's Obama, recession, banking crisis, but then that all fizzles out, never to be referred to again, there's her Dad's court case, accident, hospital inquiry, you think this might become something... Addie's an architect, but not working, at one point she draws swimming pools that Bruno thinks are beautiful, is this the point, she realises more in her life because Bruno comes along? No. Most of these subplots mean you spend the whole book wondering when it's going to become clear what the key themes are, until you get to the last third & realise you've persevered through, for none of these plot lines to come to anything, because she's going to die and as you read on you start to feel completely manipulated, not least because the author kills off both the main character and her dog off within pages of each other. There's really good parts to this, but it's not a cohesive whole, it's unresolved and i resent being manipulated. Would not recommend!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kim on 2 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
Spoiler Alert. The advance for this book does seem excessive, and it may have something to do with the fact that the writer is 'well connected'. The book is enjoyable but it it all happens on one level and is lacking in nuance. Everything is a bit obvious. Compared to a writer like Curtis Sittenfeld who puts so much into every single sentence, McMahon can seem pedestrian sometimes. While some of the writing is a bit leaden other scenes are funny and well written, for example the visit to the relatives in Navan. Her observations are also very astute at times, although I can't believe anyone would be 'happy' about being diagnosed with terminal cancer. It makes Addie seem a bit saintlike and unreal. (Also Bruno was a bit of a caricature.) Like a lot of reviewers I sped read to the end. You are told early on that something awful happens and you keep reading to find out what it is, otherwise, I'm not sure I'd have finished. Much better than the usual chicklit fare though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Dunlop Ferraro on 10 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
The story explores difficulties in a family relationship between two very different sisters (Della and Adie) and their father. It also looks at how Adie falls in love during a mid-life crisis. This is Kathleen MacMahon's first published novel and it has been translated into twenty-five languages after a successful introduction at The London Book Fair 2011.

Della has four children so Adie, who is an out of work architect, ends up nursing their consultant father, Hugh, who has broken wrists and is awaiting the repercussions of a works tribunal. Hugh is unable to show his love for his Adie. Perhaps she reminds him of his deceased wife?
Bruno is from America and his life in finance has ground to an untimely halt when he arrives in the neighbourhood, following in his sister's footsteps looking to form some family bonds in Ireland. After he ends up in Adie's bed, regular updates on U.S. politics give the impression that Bruno is about to fly home any day if the right candidate wins the election.

Some members of our group really enjoyed the book. It offered them a pleasant distraction from real life. However even they agreed that it was an uninspired title to an uninspired book. It seems to offer little substance and no depth to most of the characters. Our main concern was whether Adie's dog had actually died. If you are looking for a cheerful read then this is not one for you and most of us hoped there will not be a sequel.

Our average mark was 4 out of 10
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