This is where it begins
The coast of Dublin, Ireland.
This is why it begins
Bruno, an American, has come to Ireland to search for his roots. Addie, an out-of-work architect, is recovering from heartbreak while taking care of her infirm father. When their worlds collide, they experience a connection unlike any they've previously felt, but soon a tragedy will test them - and their new-found love - in ways they never imagined possible.
This is how it ends... A story you will never forget.
IT WAS A WET MONDAY morning in mid-autumn when Bruno
Boylan finally set foot in the land of his forefathers.
He was traveling on a four-hundred-dollar return fare that hed purchased just days beforehand from the comfort of his own home. A couple of clicks of the mouse and a sixteen-digit credit card number. No ticket, just an e-mail printout and a magic code. No delays, no stopovers, no adverse weather conditions for the crossing.
Hed stayed awake through the drinks cart and the meal. Hed read his book for a while. Then hed popped a Xanax, slicing hours off the flight time in one fell swoop. He was traveling light. All he had with him was a small backpack and a canvas bag in the hold. There was nothing whatsoever to suggest that this was anything in the nature of an epic journey.
The ping of the PA system woke him. He opened his eyes to find himself curled pathetically towards the wall of the plane for comfort, his face ...
This Is How It Ends, set in Dublin, Ireland in 2008 is just about perfect for a quiet read, perhaps wrapped in a sweater and holding a mug of tea on one of the first cool evenings of fall. Addie occupies the grand narrative at the center of MacMahon’s novel. A woman who looks and even feels young, she is nevertheless starting to cope with the challenges – aging parents, envy over her sisters’ fecundity, loneliness and regret – of early middle age. Addie is hardly alone; virtually every character also occupies a transitional space, passing from one state to another, coping with endings of one sort or another. What MacMahon sets against this series of losses, however is an equally powerful series of small, hopeful moments, passages of great simplicity and beauty.
(Reviewed by Norah Piehl).
Full Review (1021 words).
"Poor old Sarkozy," Addie remarks at one point in This Is How It Ends. "Poor Angela Merkel. They all seem so dowdy now, by comparison. It's like we all went to the movies in the middle of the afternoon and spent two hours swooning over George Clooney. Then we came home and found the husband sitting on the couch with his beer belly." She's referring to Barack Obama, of course. MacMahon's novel is set during and shortly after the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, and one of the interesting juxtapositions she creates is that within a population increasingly skeptical of Americanization (from economic crises to excess litigation to the horrors of a chilled Guinness) they are still enamored of candidate Obama and all he represents.
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