When All Is Said by Anne Griffin

ebook, 352 pages
Expected publication: March 5th 2019 by St. Martin's Press and Thomas Dunne Books
About the Book:
A tale of a single night. The story of a lifetime.

This is the story of 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 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 triumphs. Beautifully written, powerfully felt, When All Is Said promises to be the next great Irish novel.

If you had to pick five people to sum up your life and raise a glass to each of them, who would they be and what would you say?

This is a book with great depth and interest, the pace of which is kept alive by subtle humour of what is potentially a most disturbing condition of the protagonist, Maurice, who suffers so deeply from the loss of his wife. There are bits of Maurice within us all everywhere. Whether you find this book hilarious, sad, moving, comforting or bewildering will depend on you. What is certain is that you will not be unaffected by the many characters and events in it.

It’s an awful thing, to witness your mother cry. You cannot cure nor mend nor stick a plaster on.

Ms. Griffin's stories, in their simplicity and honesty, are an exercise in pleasure. Exploring the most ordinary concepts, she creates profound understanding, and even with the most difficult subjects, like life and death, she manages to make the tale uplifting. This is a story about love and life, simply and elegantly told.

The same things matter the world over: saving face and money.

I found this book to be absolutely delightful, even though the theme isn't. There is sadness and heartbreak, happiness and many laugh out loud moments. It is extremely profound and deeply moving. This is a debut novel by Irish author Anne Griffin, and one I have no hesitation in recommending extremely highly. Overall I found the book a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Thank you NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, Thomas Dunne Books and Anne Griffin for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.

#WhenAllIsSaid #NetGalley


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