THIS IS HOW IT ENDS by Kathleen MacMahon


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A disenchanted—and recently unemployed—banker goes to Ireland to trace his ancestral roots and finds life and love in the form of Addie, his second cousin.

It’s October 2008, and Bruno Boylan has had it. He’s just lost his buttoned-down life at Lehman Brothers, and the presidential election, only three weeks away, looms large in his consciousness. He impulsively gets a round-trip ticket to Ireland, with a return on Wednesday, November 5th, but vows that if Obama loses he’ll stay on the Ould Sod. Although Bruno has gotten some sketchy information about family ties from his aunts, once he arrives in Dublin, he realizes how little he actually knows about the family. Still, he makes an effort, arranging a “chance” meeting with Addie on the beach while she walks her dog. Addie is far from impressed by the 50-year-old, for she’s seen the type before—Americans who romanticize their Celtic roots and seek connections to an imagined past they’ve never had. Despite her reservations and her initial coldness, Addie quickly finds herself taken by Bruno, for his vulnerability and “lostness” appeal to her. In her late-30s, Addie has recently lost a child, and she finds Bruno genuinely interested in her life experience, the first man who has shown her both empathy and respect. Addie also has to deal with her abrasive father, Hugh, a physician who’s temporarily laid up, and like many physicians, he’s a demanding patient. He also faces an inquiry into medical negligence that’s preoccupying for the two of them. What starts as a passionate love affair for Bruno and Addie eventually leads to a marriage cut short by tragedy.

An autumnal novel that combines the poignancy of Persuasion with the sentimentality of Love Story.

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4555-1131-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2012


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