Thursday, October 19, 2023

Book Review | LISTENING STILL by Anne Griffin

by Anne Griffin
Publication: 01 Mar 2022
Publisher: St. Martin Press
Genre: General Fiction
Rating: ★★★★★

Jeanie Masterson has a gift: she can hear the last words of the dead.

Passed down from generation to generation, this gift means she is able to make wrongs right, to give voice to unspoken love and dying regrets. She and her father have worked happily alongside each other for years, but now he's unexpectedly announced that he wants to retire early and leave the business to her and her life is called into question.

Does she really want to be married to the embalmer, or does she want to be with her childhood sweetheart, off in London? Does she want to have children, and pass this gift on to them? And does she want to be stuck in this small town, or is there more of the world she wants to see - like the South of France, where she's discovered a woman who shares her gift?

Tied to her home by this unusual talent, she begins to question: what if what she's always thought of as a gift is a curse?

If you are looking for a captivating and emotional read that explores the power of words, secrets and family, you might want to check out Listening Still by Anne Griffin. This is her second novel, after the acclaimed When All is Said, and it follows the journey of Jeanie Masterson, a young woman who inherits her father's funeral home and his unusual ability to hear the last words of the dead.

Jeanie has always helped her family with the business, listening to the final confessions, regrets and wishes of the departed and passing them on to their loved ones. But when her parents retired unexpectedly, she finds herself alone with this burden and a business to run. She also must deal with her own life, dreams, and regrets.

LISTENING STILL is a beautifully written and engaging novel that transports the reader to the rural Ireland. It is not only a compelling story of one woman's quest for happiness and fulfillment, but also a celebration of the Irish culture, history and tradition. The setting is richly described and full of life.

Anne Griffin has a gift for creating vivid and authentic characters that you care about and root for. She also tackles some of life’s big questions, while blending humor and heartache, realism and magic, in a way that makes you feel both enchanted and enlightened.

Listening Still is a novel that will make you laugh, cry, think and feel. It is a novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. It is a novel that will make you want to listen more closely to the voices around you, and to your own voice within.


About the Author:
Anne Griffin is the author of the Irish No. 1 bestseller ‘When All Is Said’. Winner of the Newcomer of the Year Irish Book Awards 2019 and longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award 2021. Her second novel, ‘Listening Still’ was published in 2022 and her third, ‘The Island Of Longing’ will be published on May 4th, 2023.

Anne’s books have been translated into several languages and recorded as e-audiobooks.

*Digital ARC provided by St. Martin Press and Netgalley in exchange for this unbiased review.


  1. This sounds like a really good read to get stuck into and enjoy. I have not read this author before so this review was a really great introduction; I like the sound of it!

    1. Hi, Molly. Thanks for dropping by. Hope you get to read it soon.