Nothing But Blue Sky
Kathleen MacMahon

Book cover image

Narrated By: Stephen Hogan

Duration: 10 hours and 28 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

Is there such a thing as a perfect marriage?

David thought so. But when his wife Mary Rose dies suddenly he has to think again. In reliving their twenty years together David sees that 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?

Nothing But Blue Sky is a precise and tender story of love in marriage - a gripping examination of what binds couples together and of what keeps them apart.

© Kathleen MacMahon 2020 (P) Penguin Audio 2020


Modern and contemporary fiction, Family life fiction, Narrative theme: Love and relationships, Narrative theme: Death, grief, loss, Narrative theme: Interior life

Listen to a sample

Sure and subtle, MacMahon holds the reader in her spell. She is a born storyteller

Mike McCormack

What a beautiful novel ... elegant, understated, subtly powerful, and rings so perfectly true ... Beautiful, poignant moments, drawn with such quiet power. And that quiet power is alive and at work on every page

Donal Ryan

Touching and enthralling

Sunday Times

A piece of perfection - a subtle, thought-provoking investigation of a marriage. It rings true. It's the best book I've read all year

Irish Examiner

Full of humour and brims with the warmth of family, friendship and the possibility of second chances

Irish Sunday People

I've been recommending Nothing But Blue Sky to anyone who'll listen ... It's about grief and eulogising and getting into the "habit of happiness" and I just loved it

Irish Times, Best Books of 2020

Kathleen MacMahon's prose could not appear more effortless or beautiful

Sunday Independent

This elegant, tender novel is an absolute pleasure


Excellent (and darkly funny) ... A sensitive, nuanced, and ultimately hopeful exploration of grief

Irish Examiner

A poignant, gentle and astutely observed novel about marriage and the evolution of love

Sunday Times, Novels of the Year 2020

A beautifully written and powerful tale

Woman & Home

Kathleen MacMahon writes with a confidence and ease and with an unerring sense of timing

Irish Times

Kathleen MacMahon has written an absorbing, grave, and emotionally resonant study of a marriage, of a life, of masculinity and of grief. A marvellous achievement

Neil Hegarty

The most beautiful prose I have read in years ... Not only my favourite novel of the year, but possibly of the decade

Sunday Independent

It's rare to read an account of a happy normal marriage and she does it brilliantly

Sue Leonard

Full of humour and brims with the warmth of family, friendship and the possibility of second chances

Sunday Mirror

Kathleen MacMahon sensitively explores the complexities of the human heart and reveals how even in the depths of grief, unexpected light can emerge from the darkness

David Park

An elegantly written and moving account of one man coming to terms with the sudden death of his wife

Irish Times Magazine

Heart-wrenching ... Almost a parable, it's a cautionary tale for those failing to appreciate just how short life can be

RTÉ Culture

Beautiful ... A gentle but deeply affecting read, and the perfect reminder of how sadness and hope can sometimes live side by side

Woman's Way


via Twitter

Insightful and deeply moving, this is a story of one man's grief that somehow manages to hold onto its sense of humour. I loved this book

Christine Dwyer Hickey

A tender portrait of a marriage and how we are formed by our closest relationships

Good Housekeeping

Heart-rending ... a tender and beautiful [love story] ... MacMahon's words ring with the honesty of truth, offering genuine insight into the human condition

Business Post

A tender dissection of marriage


Gentle and triumphant, MacMahon offers us a novel steeped in beautiful prose and poignant tenderness

Anne Griffin

Skilfully written with a wonderful lightness of touch ... An acutely observed portrait of a relationship ... filled with astute observations of human behaviour