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This Is How It Ends (2012)

This tells the story of two people who collide with each other just as the whole world seems to be caught between the drama of Barack Obama's election and the catastrophic collapse of the global economy. Bruno is a middle-aged American banker who has come to Ireland as a refugee from the financial meltdown in his own country. Addie is an out-of-work Irish architect. When she meets Bruno, her life seems to be on a downward spiral. When their worlds collide, they experience a connection unlike any they've previously felt, but soon their newfound love will be tested in ways they never imagined possible. My enjoyment of the book was hampered by the fact that it became obvious quite early on just how the book would end. I hadn't expected such a level of plot predictability from a book that had promised so much in its blurb and marketing material, and kept hoping that there would be more to the tale than there was. On the back cover, we are promised a story the reader will never forget - a big claim, and one that I didn't feel the book delivered. While the love story had its touching moments towards the end, it didn't convince me overall. I certainly didn't feel the connection Addie and Bruno are supposed to be experiencing. The supporting characters - Hugh, Della, even Lola the dog - were infinitely more interesting than Addie and Bruno. However, there was much to commend in the author's writing style - her eye for detail and her creativity with images kept me reading. She definitely has a fresh writing voice, but the lack of a fresh plot and engaging main characters let her down. (SBB)

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