"In 1996, a small Irish press approached Nuala O'Faolan, then a writer for The Irish Times, to publish a collection of her opinion columns. She offered to write an introduction to give the opinions a context...to explain the life experience that had shaped this Irish woman's views--and, convinced that none but a few diehard fans of the columns would ever see the book, she took the opportunity to interrogate herself, as fully and candidly as she could, as to what she had made of her life. But the introduction, the 'accidental memoir of a Dublin woman,' was discovered, and her book, 'Are You Somebody?' became an international bestseller. It launched a new life for its author at a time when she had long let go of expectations that anything could dislodge patterns of regret and solitude well fixed and too familiar.
"Suddenly, in midlife, there was the possi9blity of radical change. Whereas the memoir ended with its author reconciled to a peaceful if lonely future, now opportunities opened up, and there were thrilling choices to be made." This is her story of life after that point. It's a really great read, I thought and I would recommend it to anyone. You step right into her life and I think any of us who have lived a few years can recognize ourselves in parts of her life. Not to mention being in Ireland, which is a refreshing sidebar.
I listened to this book after hearing the author on a NPR interview program in 2005. I was captivated by her voice (I am a sucker for English/Scottish/ Irish accents) and intrigued by the answers she gave to the host's questions. I wanted to understand what made her so prickly and defensive.
This is actually the second volume of her memoirs, the first being Are you somebody? I recommend reading it first.
To the story, it was very descriptive and I could see some of the places in my minds eye so easily. Nuala was such a strong willed and stubborn woman that I could relate to her very easily. While the circumstances of her life differed from my own, I could still understand her fears of not amounting to much and wondering what she was here for.
I just found out several weeks ago that Nuala passed away in May 2008 of lung cancer. I purchased this set of tapes to listen to again to recapture her questing spirit.