Monday, December 10, 2018

Book Review | WHEN ALL IS SAID by Anne Griffin

January 24th, 2019,

Five toasts. Five people. One lifetime.

"I'm here to remember -all that I have been 
and all that I will never be again."

If 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?

At the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town sits 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. He’s alone, as usual - though tonight is anything but. Pull up a stool and charge your glass, because Maurice is finally ready to tell his story.

Over the course of this evening, he will raise five toasts to the five people who have meant the most to him. Through these stories - of unspoken joy and regret, a secret tragedy kept hidden, a fierce love that never found its voice - the life of one man will be powerful and poignantly laid bare.

Beautifully heart-warming and powerfully felt, the voice of Maurice Hannigan will stay with you long after all is said and done.


WHEN ALL IS SAID is achingly beautiful. I can employ all the superlatives, but they will not suffice, I suppose. So, let me try again… Brilliant!

Maurice Hannigan is one solid farmer and family man. Rough on the edges and irascible at times, but appreciates hard work and recognizes a good soul. Tonight though, he’d be sitting alone, raising toasts to people who made his existence significant in distinctive ways, while exploring every nooks and cranny of his life –including his ghosts and regrets.

Anne Griffin employed the simplest of language, unassumingly raw, but razor-sharp. From the blurb alone, I knew this book will be piercing, although, I was never prepared to bawl over it at two in the morning. With her words, it was not hard to like Maurice and relate to him –all 84 years of him. I felt this old man like I was there sitting next to him in that bar.
"She was so self-contained that sometimes I think I missed the full extent of the hurt and guilt. I did my best to be on guard for it. But having spent half my life distracted by what was outside – my deals, my empire – I often forgot to see what lay inside and how precious it was."
This is one of those books I never wanted to end. It did, nevertheless. It was done but verberates in echoes and booms. I highly recommend it.

Book details:
Author: Anne Griffin
Publication: January 24th, 2019, Sceptre (UK)
                       March 5th, 2019, Thomas Dunne Books (US)
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: ★★★★★

*Thanks to Thomas Dune Books, Sceptre,  and NetGalley for the DRM, in exchange for this unbiased book review. 


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