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Publisher's Summary

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 best seller. 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.

(P)2003 Simon and Schuster Inc.

Critic Reviews

"O'Faolain seduces with her untampered hunger for love and unjaded delight in her newly adopted American city." (Entertainment Weekly)
"O'Faolain has a tangy storytelling style, nurtured in a mordant Irish sense of irony and an Oxford-trained sleekness of thought." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Honest & Endearing

I loved this book, and I will read her other autobiography and novel. Nuala is starkly honest, and still, you love her. It's encouraging to any of us who have made mistakes to learn that we are still loveable. And Nuala's soft Irish accent is soothing. This is a great book for middle aged women, and anyone who grew up in a large family.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A must read

I love that she read her own story. This is a must read for anyone who had difficult parents and childhood. I think it help me to understand even more how ones childhood never truly disappears or heals.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • L S
  • SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA, United States
  • 09-11-11

Terribly Dull.

I tried twice and I couldn't get past the first hour. I can't say if it gets any better after that, but the narration and writing were irritatingly dull. Wish I hadn't wasted my money on this one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

honesty and courage

I appreciate and admire so much the honesty and courage of this writer. I have read all of her previous books, and enjoyed all of them as much as this one. Her writing is lyrical, but also starkly realistic and emotionally accessible.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bev
  • Alton, IL, USA
  • 09-05-07

Sad

I really liked to hear this story - keep in mind - the story winds from today to the past and back again. There really isn't a rhyme or reason for the timeline. I did really like the story and I felt proud of the author for becoming happy.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

becomes tiresome

Nuala's personal quirks and hostile feelings become pretty tiresome. I feel for her, yet turned off the audiobook to get away from the dismal nature of petty grievances.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Scott
  • Portland, OR, United States
  • 04-22-04

A bit self indulgent

This book has both good and bad. Perhaps I don't get it but it sounds fairly whiney and self indulgent at times as she complains about how her bad choices make her miserable.
I kept waiting for her to "get it", she's headed in the right direction. Perhaps the next book.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful