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This Is Happiness

7 ratings

Summary

Change is coming to Faha, a small Irish parish unaltered in a 1,000 years. For one thing, the rain is stopping. Nobody remembers when it started; rain on the western seaboard is a condition of living. But now - just as Father Coffey proclaims the coming of the electricity - the rain clouds are lifting. Seventeen-year-old Noel Crowe is idling in the unexpected sunshine when Christy makes his first entrance into Faha, bringing secrets he needs to atone for. Though he can't explain it, Noel knows right then: something has changed. As the people of Faha anticipate the endlessly procrastinated advent of the electricity, and Noel navigates his own coming-of-age and his fallings in and out of love, Christy's past gradually comes to light, casting a new glow on a small world. Harking back to a simpler time, This Is Happiness is a tender portrait of a community - its idiosyncrasies and traditions, its paradoxes and kindnesses, its failures and triumphs - and a coming-of-age tale like no other. Luminous and lyrical, yet anchored by roots running deep into the earthy and everyday, it is about the power of stories: their invisible currents that run through all we do, writing and rewriting us, and the transforming light that they throw onto our world.

©2019 Niall Williams (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

Narrator: Dermot Crowley
Length: 14 hrs and 27 mins
Available on Audible
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Only Say the Word

Summary

Both a novel and a letter from a husband to his wife, Only Say the Word is a haunting, intimate testament to the enduring nature of love. Jim Foley loves his parents, his brother, his sister, Dickens, and God, although not necessarily in that order. Later, he loves Kate, enough to make her his wife; later still, he loves his children, Jack and Hannah. This is Jim's story, from early days spent in County Clare to early adulthood in America, and back to Clare again. Tracing his journey from child to husband to father, from happy-ever-after to death-do-us-part, from beginnings to endings - and from there to starting afresh once more - it tells of the people and places in Jim's life, his hopes, fears, and fantasies, his ever-evolving relationships and the books that remain always constant. Deeply-felt, beautifully-told, and written in Niall William's lyrical, lilting prose, Only Say the Word offers both acceptance of the past and hope for the future.

©2005 Niall Williams (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Narrator: Gerry O'Brien
Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
Available on Audible
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John

Summary

In the tradition of Jim Crace's Quarantine and Anita Diamant's The Red Tent, John is a stunning, lyrical reimagining of John the Apostle in the final years of his life, by the critically acclaimed and bestselling author of Four Letters of Love. In the years following the death of Jesus Christ, John the Apostle, now a frail, blind old man, lives in forced exile on the desolate island of Patmos with a small group of his disciples. Together, the group has endured their banishment, but after years awaiting Christ's return, fissures form within their faith, and, inevitably, one of John's followers disavows Christ's divinity and breaks away from the community, threatening to change the course of Christianity. When the Roman emperor lifts the banishment of Christians, John and his followers are permitted to return to Ephesus, a chaotic world of competing religious sects where Christianity is in danger of vanishing. It is against this turbulent background-and inspired by Jesus's radical message of love and forgiveness-that John comes to dictate his Gospel. Immensely impressive and based on actual historical events, John is at once an ambitious and provocative reimagining of the last surviving apostle and a powerful look at faith and how it lives and dies in the hearts of men. At a time when many remain skeptical about religion but still thirst for spiritual fulfillment, Niall Williams's extraordinary and masterful new novel reveals a universally appealing message of hope and love.

©2008 Niall Williams (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Narrator: Nicholas Bell
Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
Available on Audible
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History of the Rain

Summary

We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. In Faha, County Clare, everyone is a long story.... Bedbound in her attic room beneath the falling rain, Plain Ruth Swain is in search of her father. To find him Ruthie must first trace the jutting jaw lines, narrow faces, and gleamy skin of the Swains from the restless Reverend Swain, her great-grandfather, to her father, Virgil - via pole-vaulting, leaping salmon, poetry and the 3,958 books piled high beneath the two skylights in her room.

©2014 Niall Williams (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd

Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for History of the Rain

History of the Rain

Summary

We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. That’s how it seems to me, being alive for a little while, the teller and the told. So says Ruthie Swain. The bedridden daughter of a dead poet, home from college after a collapse (Something Amiss, the doctors say), she is trying to find her father through stories - and through generations of family history in County Clare (the Swains have the written stories, from salmon-fishing journals to poems, and the maternal MacCarrolls have the oral) and through her own writing (with its Superabundance of Style). Ruthie turns also to the books her father left behind, his library transposed to her bedroom and stacked on the floor, which she pledges to work her way through while she’s still living. In her attic room, with the rain rushing down the windows, Ruthie writes Ireland, with its weather, its rivers, its lilts, and its lows. The stories she uncovers and recounts bring back to life multiple generations buried in this soil - and they might just bring her back into the world again, too.

©2014 Niall Williams (P)2014  W.F. Howes

Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
Available on Audible
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Four Letters of Love

Summary

'When I was 12 years old God spoke to my father for the first time. God didn't say much. He told my father to be a painter and left it at that.... ' So begins Niall Williams' magical tale about love and destiny. Nicholas Coughlan and Isabel Gore were made for each other - but fate doesn't always take the easiest or the most obvious route to true love. For a start, Nicholas and Isabel have never met and nor are they likely to, without some kind of divine intervention. But as God, ghosts, a series of coincidences and seemingly chance events and encounters conspire to bring the couple together, other - often more human - forces attempt to keep them apart. 'What will be, will be,' of course, but that doesn't guarantee a happy-ever-after ending, nor answer the question 'Will they or won't they?' Written in a lyrical, lilting tone, Four Letters of Love is a glorious, uplifting story about faith, about seizing the moment, believing in your instincts and acting on impulse - and about following your heart, no matter where it may lead.

©2006 Niall Williams (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Narrator: Gerry O'Brien
Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
Available on Audible