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Download This Is How It Ends: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample This Is How It Ends: A Novel Audiobook, by Kathleen MacMahon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (407 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kathleen MacMahon Narrator: Caroline Lennon Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN: 9781611134841
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This is when it begins

Fall, 2008.

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 newfound love—in ways they never imagined possible.

This is how it ends… Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] very satisfying story of people who are easy to believe in and hard to forget. Kathleen MacMahon writes with a confidence and ease and with an unerring sense of timing…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

  • “MacMahon’s journalist eye enhances the political and historical backdrop of her novel. She captures the Irish excitement over the possibility of Obama’s election, the financial crisis that will lower its boom in the US and Ireland, and the sometimes silly but just as meaningful fascination Americans have with their ancestral roots.”

    USA Today

  • “Combines humor with a real sense of joy at finding love at midlife…MacMahon’s enthralling debut novel features marvelous characters who will linger long in readers’ hearts. This moving book will appeal to those who enjoy popular contemporary fiction, particularly the work of Maeve Binchy and Barbara Delinsky.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “It’s impossible to look away from this love story—it is unexpectedly quirky, grown-up but pleasingly whimsical.”

    Observer (London)

  • “MacMahon takes an oft told tale and makes it fresh in her tender debut novel…MacMahon’s portrayal of Bruno and Addie’s relationship, along with a charming supporting cast, make this a believable and warm tale.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristin | 2/13/2014

    " I liked it, didn't love it. I thought it dragged a little in the middle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kiki | 1/31/2014

    " Kathleen MacMahon has written a very sweet little novel, although a few things about it baffled me at times. The novel is set in Ireland, where we meet Bruno Boylan, an out of work American stock trader from New York, and Addie Murphy, a 37 year old architect with a passion for swimming and pools,l and her dog, Lola. Bruno is newly arrived in Ireland as a "political refugee" as he jokes, since he cannot stand the political environment in his home country: it is 2008 and the Presidential election between John McCain and Barack Obama is heating up. Bruno is distraught at the mere thought of McCain winning and has decided that if Obama does not win, he will never return to the US. Addie is caring for her sick father--he is a surgeon who has broken both his hands and needs around the clock assistance with almost everything he does, so she has moved into her old home on the beach, and is living in the basement apartment. Her father can be difficult and is also dealing with a lawsuit against him, involving the death of a woman in his operating room. The novel unfolds into a peculiar romance. What brings the couple together is Bruno's search for his family. Bruno and Addie are cousins. Not first cousins, thank goodness, but still related. Bruno's dad was Addie's dad's first cousin. So he is also in Ireland to explore his family history, something which the Murphy family is clearly not interested in talking about. Despite Hugh Murphy's resistance, and initially Addie's as well, but Bruno finds a way to break through the fortress of the Murphy family and becomes, over time, very close to Addie. The author uses a technical in the book that seems to be the opposite of omniscient. This reader often felt confused or annoyed at the lack of information, or the slow leaking of it, about the Murphy family in the book. I can see where the author might have felt this was building up some kind of suspense or even mystery, but for me, personally, I did not feel that tack worked for this kind of novel. I wanted to like the characters who are certainly introspective and thoughtful, but thinking about things I felt I didn't quite get. I felt the use of a political election as a plot device might alienate some readers as well, since the author was definitely making a political statement as well, although it was certainly interesting. The characters were original, but lacking in the believability department. Throughout the novel, the foreshadowing about the fate of each was very heavy handed. This wasn't a terrible novel, the prose was decent, if the style was a little grating.The characters were just a little too hard to get to know. Unremarkable, and the ending dissolved into complete and utter sappiness, which some readers were fully appreciate and love. This novel will be loved by some and hated by some too. It is just that kind of novel. This was a digital review copy provided by Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise | 1/30/2014

    " This novel didn't live up to my expectations. I liked the main characters Addie and Bruno, but never felt the chemistry between them until right at the (predictable) end. Addie's sister Della was an annoying chick-lit caricature. Overall, I thought the book was well written, although the author could have made so much more of the magnificent Irish settings, especially Howth and Glendalough. With the right screenplay, This Is How It Ends could translate well to film, with Aidan Quinn as Bruno. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maxine | 1/24/2014

    " This was a lovely book. The characters are real - the story is real. MacMahon treats the reader with respect. I like the way she creates her characters and the realism of the story. Any book that can make me either laugh out loud or cry is always going to get brownie points. This book did both. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jen Jaketic | 12/16/2013

    " I thought I was supposed to feel something, but I didn't. I don't really like her writing style and the characters -- who, I guess, were supposed to be likeable -- were really two-dimensional. A sad thing happens and it's like I wasn't even phased, which is not how a book should make you feel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy | 12/13/2013

    " Lots of gaps in this story, a sad ending, left you wondering about a lot of ideas the were introduced but never really explored any further, a bit disappointing "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pauline | 12/10/2013

    " Meh. Reads like a Nicholas Sparks novel without the charm of a Nicholas Sparks novel. Characters are hard to get invested in and the ending is depressing. A story for the sake of writing a story, IMO, but not a very good one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie | 12/3/2013

    " Very good story. Sad a but a real appreciation for the beauty of life. Interesting differences highlighted between the Irish and Americans. Enjoyed the relationship between Bruno and Addie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stacey | 11/10/2013

    " very predictable. But a good read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer Kremer | 10/3/2013

    " This was just an ok story that would have been much better without Addie's anti-American comments. Ireland fairly recently allowed divorce and birth control, yet she finds Americans unaware and ignorant? I could not personally get past the constant criticisms. And the dog?! Really? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee Lathbury | 10/3/2013

    " A bittersweet tale of two people who have almost given up on life, but who find renewal in their new found love. It offers an interesting look at change occurring with the onset of instant attraction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tommy | 9/21/2013

    " excellent read although I'm left expecting part two???? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 8/19/2013

    " A sweet and triste love story set in Ireland full of modern historical world pop culture. At times I laughed and at times I cried. The author also delightfully revealed past memories to add insight to the plot and the development of the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie Mckenzie | 8/19/2013

    " A lovely book about love come late, even through the constraints of family! (Very sad ending) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joan | 8/7/2013

    " The American election wasn't really relevant to the book in the end, so I was mystified that it was how the story started. I wept through the last quarter of the book, devastated. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sallyc07 | 3/9/2013

    " Too dull, strange writing style and too slow. Could not finish it as it bored me...nothing happened! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terri Russell | 2/28/2013

    " Interesting story but a bit depressing! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 2/21/2013

    " I don't know if I should characterize this as a bittersweet romance or a portrait of an Irish family. I really enjoyed her writing. She is particularly adept at interior dialog. I really felt that I "knew" the characters and what motivated them. This was a thoughtful and enjoyable read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 1/25/2013

    " Beautifully written romantic tear jerker! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tania | 1/3/2013

    " Instant "book hangover" with this one. It was that good! I sure hope Kathleen MacMahon writes a few more. I'm hooked! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara Behiels | 10/22/2012

    " A beaufiful but sad love-story with an important message: enjoy your life and be happy with small things! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lisa | 10/6/2012

    " I would have given this one zero stars if possible. I read a few passages out loud to my husband, who looked on in disgust and horros as I reead. Poorly written, poorly plotted, poorly passed, and rife with stereotypes. Can't understand what all the fuss was about... "

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About the Narrator

Caroline Lennon is a theater, film, radio, and television actress. She was born in County Wicklow, Ireland, and trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.