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When All is Said

A tale of a single night The story of a lifetimeIf you had to pick five people to sum up your life who would they be If you were to raise a glass to each of them what would you say And what would you learn about yourself when all is said and doneThis is the story of. This is an exceptional undeniably Irish debut from Anne Griffin the prose is effortlessly engaging and it is simultaneously heartbreaking and life affirming as we get intimately acuainted with the life and times of 84 year old Maurice Hannigan Hannigan has packed up his life leaving no loose threads prior to booking the most exclusive suite at the Rainsford House Hotel Early on we cotton on to how the night will end but before that Maurice settles in for an evening at the hotel bar to raise a toast for the five most important loves of his life They are Tony his brother Molly his daughter Noreen or Auntie No no his son Kevin who emigrated to New Jersey USA becoming a notable journalist and lastly but of the most vital importance his wife SadieAs Maurice reminisces we become aware of just how close his bond with Tony is of how school became a tortuous experience as he became convinced of just how stupid he is He leaves at 10 years old to work like his mother for the local rich family the Dollards where he undergoes a plethora of the most unhappiest of experiences that are to leave him scarred for life and shape him to be the most unforgiving of men The scales shift as through the years the Dollard fortunes drop substantially whilst Maurice becomes a astute entrepreneurial farmer buying up the land around his farm becoming financially secure and wealthy He falls for Sadie hook line and sinker and to his surprise and joy she returns his love Sadie s sister Noreen is fiercely drawn to the sparkle and she will go to any lengths to acuire it when she sees it not afraid of making a fuss in public Kevin makes a ritual of providing his father with rare whiskies To Maurice s eternal regret he has not been an expressive man he has never been able to articulate the depth of his love to those nearest and dearest It becomes transparently clear that loneliness has seeped into Maurice s heart and soulAnne Griffin has written a touchingly profound and moving novel of the oh so very human Maurice his joys and tragedies the ghosts who have been there in his life and his concerns that the one ghost he really wants to see has proved to be elusive Maurice is a character you cannot help but get emotionally invested in despite his obsession for business and making money which of course left him open to missing the opportunities to be with his loved ones when they may have needed him This novel hones in what is important in life family friends and love Maurice is not infallible he had a drive for vengeance not always aware of the conseuences of his actions but I loved and adored him This is a brilliantly enthralling story of Maurice of his dyslexia his family heartbreak and the Ireland he lives through Hugely recommended Many thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for an ARC

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Maurice Hannigan who over the course of a Saturday night in June orders five different drinks at the Rainford House Hotel With each he toasts a person vital to him his doomed older brother his troubled sister in law his daughter of fifteen minutes his son far off in. An unforgettable first novel A uissessentially Irish novel filled with melancholy and angst with some great storytelling Maurice is 84 his beloved wife Sadie gone now for two years His only child a son lives in America with his family He now sits at a bar in a restaurant intending to toast the five individuals who had the greatest impact on his life He has reserved the VIP suite for the night The bar where he sits the hotel he is in had once been the house of the wealthiest family in the village This house figured largely in his youth and the memories are not good ones He is lonelysorely misses his wife feels as if he belongs nowhere to none Now though Maurice has a planAs he drinks each drink we learn the story of his life The importance of a gold coin which is also the continuous item that travels through his stories Maurice is very likable a flawed character and so very human It is a novel with a few gothic undertones one filled with guilt and envy Love that couldn t be expressed A sensitive exploration of guilt and regret A uiet novel a heartfelt story that feels very real A story of a father and son that had trouble connecting The last chapter is an emotional slayer but the memorable last line brought the curtain down One of the best last lines i have ever read Fans of the late great William Trevor will appreciate this novelReading with Angela and Esil as always pricelessARC from Netgalley Homewrecker reserved the VIP suite for the night The bar where he sits the hotel he is in had once been the house of the wealthiest family in the village This house figured largely in his youth and the memories are not good ones He is lonelysorely misses his wife feels as if he belongs nowhere to none Now though Maurice has a planAs he drinks each drink we learn the story of his life The importance of a gold coin which is also the continuous item that travels through his stories Maurice is very likable a flawed character and so very human It is a novel with a few gothic undertones one filled with guilt and envy Love that couldn t be expressed A sensitive exploration of guilt and Make your own model forts & castles regret A uiet novel a heartfelt story that feels very Tremors of Fury (The Days of Ash and Fury real A story of a father and son that had trouble connecting The last chapter is an emotional slayer but the memorable last line brought the curtain down One of the best last lines i have ever How Julian and Nigel Turned Each Other Gay (Inadvertently), or So They Both Claim read Fans of the late great William Trevor will appreciate this novelReading with Angela and Esil as always pricelessARC from Netgalley

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America and his late lamented wife And through these people the ones who left him behind he tells the story of his own life with all its regrets and feuds loves and triumphsBeautifully written powerfully felt When All Is Said promises to be the next great Irish novel. Delighted to see this novel nominated in the 11th Annual Goodreads s choice awards as When All Is Said is a terrific debut novel that really deserves all the attention it s getting I am lucky to be attending A reading by Anne Griffin today and am looking forward to meeting this wonderful author This is my second reading of this novel in a few months as it was chosen as our April sit in book club read and what a lovely re read this book was I started out listening to this one on Audio but the narrator doesn t do this one justice and was so glad to have my paperback copy to hand as this is one that NEEDS to be read as you need to get a voice and vision of the 84 year old Maurice in your head Beg borrow or Steal a copy of this wonderful novel as its such a compelling read I absolutely hated having to step down from that Bar Stool by the end of this Novel but I dont want to over stay my welcome as there are many customers awaiting that stool so they can take a turn getting to know Maurice and his life story A thought provoking and captivating novel that will uite likely break your heart I adored it This is a debut novel by Anne Griffen and I can see why this lady has won the John McGahern award and short listed for the Hennessy award as her imagination and confidence as a writer really comes to light in this wonderful novel This lady is not just a great writer but also a great storyteller A terrific sense of time and place spanning from Ireland of the 1930s to the present day At the heart of this story is a strong man who struggles with expressing emotion a man who fiercely protects his memory and his past and whose secrets come back to haunt him Moving and beautifully written Anne Griffin captures the Irishiness of the Irish without being over dramatic or twee and writes a pure and simple back to basics story which in my opinion is on a par with John Boyne and Maeve Binchy and Sebastian Barry I was drawn to this book solely by its cover as I browsed in a local bookshop The image on the cover has a wooden bar stool and the words Five Toasts Five People One lifetime I didn t even need to read the back cover as straight away Ann Griffin had caught my attention The best characters and the best stories can be found by sitting up on a high stool beside an elderly man in a bar in any small town in Ireland 84 year old Maurice Hannigan sits alone at the bar in the only hotel in a small Irish town Pull up a stool and charge your glass because Maurice is finally ready to tell his life story to you five toasts to the five people who have meant the most to him A story full of emotion it made me laugh and cry and I can t wait to see what Anne Griffin writes next Maurice was a very typical Irish man of his time with his his thoughts and opinions set in his ways a man with a large chip on his shoulder and a man who wont be bowing to anyone I found so much of my own father in this man not in the story but in his sayings his love of the land and his family his companionship with his dog you often wondered if that dog could talk what he could reveal of this uiet and lonely man the pride of family and hard work ethic and the want to succeed and be succeeded I have fallen in love with a couple of characters in the past year Gus Lonesome Dove and Eleanor OliphantEleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and now I can uite happily add Maurice band of characters Stories like this need to be read and savoured as there is an honestly about this story of Maurice that we seldom find in fiction I think many readers will get this oneThis book would make a terrific book club read as lots to discuss here and I would love to see this story turned into a stage play as it is just made for an audience to enjoy


10 thoughts on “When All is Said

  1. says:

    I'm here to remember all that I have been and all that I will never be again When All Is Said tells the life story of Maurice Hannigan

  2. says:

    There are 5 star books and then there are five star books with a story that make me wish I could give stars This is one of them There are debut novels and then there are debut novels which after I’ve finished reading have me thinking wow what a debut and hoping that the author is working on her next book This is one of them I d

  3. says:

    This is an exceptional undeniably Irish debut from Anne Griffin the prose is effortlessly engaging and it is simultaneously heartbreaking and life affirming as we get intimately acuainted with the life and times of 84 year o

  4. says:

    A subtly beautiful story that celebrates life loss and most significantly love “I’m here to remember all that I have been and all that I will never be again” One night in Meath Ireland at a hotel 84 year old Maurice Hannigan makes five toasts to five people In doing so he recounts those who have shaped his life in the most important ways His tribute to these five individuals reveals his accomplishments regrets and unwavering

  5. says:

    This is a perfect example of a book I didn't want to end I just fell in love with the main character to the point that by

  6. says:

    An unforgettable first novel A uissessentially Irish novel filled with melancholy and angst with some great storytelling Maurice is 84 his beloved wife Sadie gone now for two years His only child a son lives in America with his family He now sits at a bar in a restaurant intending to toast the five individuals who had t

  7. says:

    Delighted to see this novel nominated in the 11th Annual Goodreads’s choice awards as When All Is Said is a terrific debut novel that really deserves all the attention it’s getting I am lucky to be attending A reading b

  8. says:

    45 rounded to 5 starsGosh I must have been under a rock for years ignorant of the high uality Irish fiction that I am gradually discovering Maeve Binchy Patricia Gibney Tana French John Boyne and now newcomer Anne Griffin are some of

  9. says:

    ‘there was a love but of the irish kind reserved and embarrassed by its own humanity’ this tenderly told and humbly crafted story has me falling in love with the irish culture and people all over again this is a story of love and loss of beginnings and endings of happiness and grief of remembering and forgetting it is a story of

  10. says:

    I am becoming a huge fan of Irish stories and authorsI loved 84 year old Maurice who has lost his beloved wife 2 yrs ago and isn’t doing well without herHe plans a memorable night at a hotel bar that holds a personal historyand through the course of the night makes narrative toasts with a fine whiskey to five people this followed by a stay in the honeymoon suite at the same hotelAt each toast during this night we find out the history of

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