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This Is How It Ends [Hardcover]

Kathleen MacMahon
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 May 2012

Ireland . . .

America . . .

Family secrets . . .

Laughter . . .

Tragedy . . .

Swimming . . .

Dogs . . .

Big beaches . . .

Loneliness . . .

A story of unexpected,

life-changing love


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This Is How It Ends + Tigers in Red Weather
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (24 May 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1847445462
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847445469
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 322,759 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's impossible to look away from this love story. Addie may be struggling when we meet her . . . but she's cool and funny and she carries this novel with the charisma of a classic heroine. 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 - almost imperceptibly - weaves her readers so tightly into her story that when she rolls out her shattering ending it's best to be alone, far from prying eyes. 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, capturing the imagination and holding the reader. 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. This is How it Ends signals the belated arrival of a new Irish commercial writer with an extraordinary gift and a voice that is entirely her own (Irish Independent)

This is How it Ends is an unforgettable story of love and hope - a moving tale which touches the heart (Cecelia Ahern)

Kathleen MacMahon's prose could not appear more effortless or beautiful . . . The twist in this tale is utterly unexpected and satisfyingly unpredictable . . . A bittersweet, engaging 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)

The beginning of bank protests, alongside the American election and how crucial it seemed, send a tremor through the narrative (Sunday Times, Ireland)

An engaging and ultimately uplifting read. It's a well drawn love story, the characters are believable and the writing is elegant. This is a book with film rights written all over it (Irish Mail on Sunday)

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 . . .

a brilliantly drawn, empathetic and believable cast of characters

(Stylist - winner in their 'Book Wars' feature)

Moving and beautifully drawn (Metro)

A tender love story (RTE Guide)

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

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

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)

From the atmospheric description of the wet and windy Dublin beach to the gentle drawing out of the thaw of Addie's thoughts and feelings, MacMahon proves herself to have a sensitive and heartfelt understanding of human emotions and an ability to transcribe it with fine delicacy and beautiful simple writing. This is an outstanding debut novel which will linger long in your mind (Red Magazine)

Good writing and realistic characters will see this warm-hearted novel riding the bestsellers lists (Choice)

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

Everybody in Addie's life, up to and including the dog, is given a full back-story, as her relationships with her dad and her married sister's family are explored with a winning mixture of thoughtfulness and warmth. And all that's before the crunchingly big finish which packs an undeniable punch (Daily Mail)

MacMahon's enthralling debut novel features marvelous characters who will linger long in readers' hearts. Tissues will be needed (Library Journal)

Book Description

A story of unexpected, life-changing love, set in the autumn of 2008.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are authors afraid to write about happiness? 7 Sep 2012
By Sue Kichenside TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing end 21 Aug 2013
By Irena
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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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but a little obvious 2 July 2012
By Kim
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Okay-ish but nothing special. 13 Mar 2014
By PBatBP
Format:Paperback
I don't know quite what to make of this book as it is an apparently purposeless and not a very interesting tale. As a reflection of a portion of our modern society I can relate to it; the individual as a "social solitary" with familial and other acquaintances etc. However the initial relationship of the central characters appears "forced" and unconvincing given their background details though it does become more realistic in the latter stages. The peripheral characters are somewhat one-dimensional and the story-lines surrounding them tend to be left unresolved. Nothing really happens and all in all I felt as though I was being manipulated by the authors use of many standard literary devices.
It's okay as a light read to pass a few hours but it is unlikely to stay in the memory.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing book 17 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book took a lot of getting in to and when you eventually did it was so obvious what the conclusion would be !! Nearly gave up halfway through !!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
lovely book good holiday book
Published 18 days ago by c
2.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS HOW IT ENDS
What can I say, the story was very slow and never really got going at all. I found it a very boring read, if your looking to get gripped by a book then this is not the book for... Read more
Published 1 month ago by runcornarnie
4.0 out of 5 stars This is how it ends
a beautiful love story with a sad ending but there was no other way it could have ended really. will recommend to my daughter
Published 3 months ago by jane allison llewellyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, but...
Beautifully written, but it made me cry, even though the ending was expected. The description of Addie's return journey from the hospital on auto-pilot will haunt me forever.
Published 3 months ago by mabeeny
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy read
Predictable. Or so you think! Interesting with several stories within a story - Don't want to say anymore than that :)
Published 4 months ago by JulesMc
3.0 out of 5 stars not a page turner
The actual content of this book was very small, a lot of padding and harking back to the past which made it disjointed in my opinion. Not a book I would recommend.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs S B Brialey
3.0 out of 5 stars I cannot rave about it but it was ok
I will not go into the story as that has been covered proficiently by other reviewers. I was attracted to a love story between characters that were older that your average M&B... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Trickle Tree
4.0 out of 5 stars A Page Turner
I loved this book, had trouble putting it down. Both the sisters were interesting characters & especially liked the grumpy father.
Published 5 months ago by Eve Harty
2.0 out of 5 stars Looking for a cheerful read - this one is not for you
The story explores difficulties in a family relationship between two very different sisters (Della and Adie) and their father. Read more
Published 6 months ago by M. Dunlop Ferraro
4.0 out of 5 stars Tragic and satisfying
A love story with some interesting twists and a sad and tragic ending. That is its strength plus the fact that it is set largely in Ireland. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Norman Bishop
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