Kristin | 2/13/2014
" I liked it, didn't love it. I thought it dragged a little in the middle. "
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. "
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. "
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. "
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. "
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 "
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. "
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. "
Stacey | 11/10/2013
" very predictable. But a good read. "
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? "
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. "
Tommy | 9/21/2013
" excellent read although I'm left expecting part two???? "
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. "
Melanie Mckenzie | 8/19/2013
" A lovely book about love come late, even through the constraints of family! (Very sad ending) "
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. "
Sallyc07 | 3/9/2013
" Too dull, strange writing style and too slow. Could not finish it as it bored me...nothing happened! "
Terri Russell | 2/28/2013
" Interesting story but a bit depressing! "
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. "
Kathy | 1/25/2013
" Beautifully written romantic tear jerker! "
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! "
Sara Behiels | 10/22/2012
" A beaufiful but sad love-story with an important message: enjoy your life and be happy with small things! "
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... "