Best-selling Irish author Kathleen MacMahon’s latest novel, Nothing But Blue Sky, gives readers an intimate, realistic and profoundly touching story of one husband and wife. It is the perfect book to read in in the month of love.
With the Valentine’s weekend fast approaching, we once more begin to dip into our favourite love stories, whether in movies or books. February is a chance to remember and experience these stories, and remind ourselves of the power of love.
‘A stunning depiction of marriage from inside and out’
Published by Penguin, Nothing But Blue Sky contains beautiful imagery crafted by the magical writing of MacMahon. She sweeps the reader away with easy-to-read prose and touching characters who stay with you long after you have turned the last page.
The characters are realistic and flawed. They have a depth to them that makes the reader feel like they know them, these friends in between pages.
With her clever narrative and plot structure, MacMahon effortlessly takes the reader from the present to the past, and across Spain and Ireland, while never leaving one lost or confused.
Through beautiful descriptions of the Spanish summer and seascapes, which will make you feel like you are on holiday, Nothing But Blue Sky enchants from the first page.
Synopsis of ‘Nothing But Blue Sky’
Is there such a thing as a perfect marriage?
David thought so. But when his wife, Mary Rose, dies suddenly, he has to rethink everything he thought he knew about himself and their life together. David sees that, in their 20 years together, the ground beneath them had shifted and he simply hadn’t noticed. Or had chosen not to.
Figuring out who Mary Rose really was and the secrets that she kept — some of these hidden in plain sight — makes David wonder if he really knew her. Did he even know himself?
By returning once more to their little holiday spot in Spain, which they had been going to for 20 years, he hopes to reconnect with his past and also his future.
Told from the perspective of a grieving husband, ‘Nothing But Blue Sky’ is a precise and tender story of love in marriage. It is a gripping examination of what binds couples together and keeps them apart.
‘Nothing But Blue Sky’: Memorable quotes
“Mary Rose and I never had a tree with our initials carved into the bark. There was no bridge with a padlock bolted to the railings as a testament to our love. What we had was Aiguaclara, and it seemed to me that the pain of being there without her could hardly be greater than the pain of being anywhere else without her. At least in Aiguaclara there might be some memory of our lives together that I had then forgotten. That was the hope I had, in going back.”
“It was exhausting to me, and touching at the same time, how my friends took such care to gather every morsel of her life. They collated these shards of her history with all the white-glove care of archaeologists gathering up of the fragments of some precious artefact.”
“The pain was still there, the pain was always there, but I had a soothing feeling on top of it, like when you apply a cooling gel to sunburn.”
“She was so certain of the future and what it would hold for us. I had only a vague anxiety that I did not share her certainties. The only thing I was ever certain about was Mary Rose.”
More about author Kathleen MacMahon
Besides being an acclaimed author, MacMahon is a radio and television host and journalist. Her books have been translated into more than 20 languages and shortlisted for numerous awards.
Nothing But Blue Sky is MacMahon’s third novel. She has published two others.
Her first novel, This is How it Ends, was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Book of the Year award, and for two Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards. This novel was also chosen by the public as runner-up in the RTÉ Liveline listener’s poll for Book of the Year 2012.
Her second novel, The Long, Hot Summer, was published in 2015, and achieved critical and commercial success.