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Download Almost There: The Onward Journey of a Dublin Woman Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Almost There: The Onward Journey of a Dublin Woman, by Nuala O’Faolain Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (282 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nuala O’Faolain, Nuala O’Faolain Narrator: Nuala O’Faolain, Nuala O’Faolain Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In 1996, a small Irish press approached Nuala O'Faolain to publish a collection of her opinion columns from the Irish Times. She offered to write an introduction to explain the life experience that had shaped this Irish woman's views. Convinced that none but a few diehard fans of the columns would ever see the book, she took the opportunity to interrogate herself as to what she had made of her life.


But the introduction, the "accidental memoir of a Dublin woman," was discovered, and Are You Somebody? became an international bestseller. It launched a new life for its author at a time when she had long let go of expectations that anything new could dislodge patterns of regret and solitude, well fixed. Suddenly, in midlife, there was the possibility of radical change.

Almost There begins at that moment when O'Faolain's life began to change. It tells the story of a life in subtle, radical, and unforeseen renewal. It is a tale of good fortune chasing out bad -- of an accidental harvest of happiness. But it is also a provocative examination of one woman's experience of the "crucible of middle age" -- a time of life that faces in two directions, that forges the shape of the years to come, and also clarifies and solidifies one's relationships to friends and lovers (past and present), family and self.

Intelligent, thoughtful, hilarious, fierce, moving, generous, and full of surprises, Almost There is a crystalline reflection of a singular character, utterly engaged in life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “O’Faolain has a tangy storytelling style, nurtured in a mordant Irish sense of irony and an Oxford-trained sleekness of thought.”

    New York Times

  • “O’Faolain seduces with her untampered hunger for love and unjaded delight in her newly adopted American city.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • Almost There is another letter from a wise friend on what it’s like to stay engaged in life as we ‘inch across the minefield to old age.’”

    USA Today

  • “The telling of [O’Faolain’s] professional life is wonderful.”

    Women’s Review of Books

  • “Readers will enjoy O’Faolain for her witty turns of phrase…Her self-deprecation—so reminiscent of Jean Rhys—can be oddly comforting.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Irish wit peppers most passages, and O’Faolain’s lilting Dublin accent washes over the listener with a measure of familiarity. Highly recommended for all collections.”

    Library Journal

  • “In this brutally honest account of her life, O’Faolain reveals her introspections on her own existence. Losses and regrets are examined in detail as she untangles her thoughts about them. Her melodious voice lends a calming sense of catharsis as she shares her innermost feelings with her listeners. Writing is ‘clarifying the muddle in my head,’ she says, and the ‘therapeutic effects of autobiography’ can be truly heard through her narration of her journey as woman and writer. As she floats from topic to topic, the listener is privy to details and minutiae that flesh out a whole person who has lived a full life.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ginny | 2/1/2014

    " Jane, I read the book (not the audio version) - excellent book. It might be a good book club choice if you ever do non-fiction. this is the 2nd memoir of hers, so I now have to read the 1st part. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Mary | 1/30/2014

    " It is not very often that I start a book and don't finish it. But I will never know the end of this one. It is a memoir that was TMI. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Elizabeth Quinn | 1/21/2014

    " Dublin journalist Nuala O'Faolain thought she was writing the preface to a collection of her Irish Times columns when she produced Are You Somebody?, a memoir that was a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic. One of nine children of a famous philandering father and a cold, disappointed and ultimately alcoholic mother, O'Faolain's memoir detailed her growing up in 1940s and 1950s Ireland, enduring a strict but narrow education by abusive nuns and a country smothered by an rigid patriarchy directed by the church. O'Faolain absorbed the ethos of her nation -- women must marry, have children and serve -- but managed to avoid actually fulfilling those expectations. Instead she became a university professor, a broadcaster for the BBC and RTE, and finally the most popular opinion columnist in the land. Almost There picks up the story, beginning with the success of her memoir and all that followed -- aclaim, wealth, more books -- and what didn't -- finding a loving partner to share that success. She hasn't overcome her anger at her parents, and as she moves into middle age struggles to find the key to contentment as a single woman. Her answer is friendship, travel, art, animals and the natural world. For readers who enjoyed Are You Somebody?, this memoir will be a worthwhile read. For those who missed the first installment, I suggest starting there. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Lisa | 1/14/2014

    " The honesty in which Ms. O'Faolain writes her memoirs and autobiographies is startling. She puts herself out there and lays blame at her own doorstep to the mess of her adult personal life. I appreciated the honesty about her relationship with one particular man, Joseph, and realizes her lack of understanding of who he was in reality was a certain level of denial she had kept willingly. She is also very honest about her relationship with her siblings and with her most recent companion and more particularly his child. Here is someone who allows us to learn from her life. "

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