Cover image for When all is said
Title:
When all is said
ISBN:
9781250200587
Personal Author:
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 2019.
Physical Description:
326 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
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.
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Summary

Summary

"Griffin's stunning debut, brimming with irresistible Irish-isms, is an elegy to love, loss and the complexity of life." -People Magazine

One of Goodreads' 43 Most Anticipated Reads of 2019

AN INDIE NEXT PICK

"Beautiful. Intimate. Tearful. Aching and lyrical. So simply and beautifully told." -Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"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.


Author Notes

ANNE GRIFFIN is the winner of the John McGahern Award for Literature. Shortlisted for the Hennessey New Irish Writing Award and The Sunday Business Post Short Story Competition, Anne's work has been featured in, amongst others, The Irish Times and The Stinging Fly, and she had an eight year career at Waterstones. Anne lives in Ireland with her husband and son. When All Is Said is her debut novel.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Griffin's satisfactory debut takes place during one night in June 2014, at a hotel bar in a small Irish city. Talkative Maurice Hannigan, 84, has settled down for a long night of drinking, with each of his drinks raised to some absent loved one: his older brother, a stillborn daughter, his disturbed sister-in-law, his deceased wife, and his son, Kevin, who has moved to America to work and raise a family. Addressing that son in his mind throughout the novel, Maurice ranges back and forth through a life that began in poverty and ended with his buying up much of the county. Key to the story are Maurice's impulsive pocketing of a rare coin when he was a boy working in the manor that has now become the hotel where he is drinking, and the conflicts between Maurice's struggling family and the wealthy one that used to control life in their county. While the plot hinges heavily on coincidence, and the device of addressing an absent son feels extraneous, Maurice is a likable and complex character with a voice that readers will be drawn to. Maurice's humor, his keen observations on class and family, and his colloquial language, as well as Griffin's strong sense of place, create the feeling of a life connected to many others by strands of affection and hatred. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Few things are as comforting to Maurice Hannigan as the first sip of a good stout. Looking back on a lifetime of memories, both gut-bustingly happy and tearjerkingly sad, it's often the smallest comforts that put him at ease. Maurice has watched the landscape of County Meath, Ireland, and the attitudes of its inhabitants change around him. Now nearing the end of his life, he sidles up to his favorite bar at the Rainsford House Hotel and settles in for a night of reminiscing. With each drink, he dives deep into his memory to focus on one of the five people who've made a difference in his life, good or bad. Through Maurice's toasts, Griffin paints a full portrait of his life, giving even the simplest memory weight and resonance. Fans of Anne Tyler and Sara Baume will appreciate Griffin's sense of personal history and her bright, lyrical voice. Her deeply moving debut novel highlights the power of nostalgia, the pang of regret, and the impact that very special individuals can have on our lives.--Stephanie Turza Copyright 2019 Booklist


Library Journal Review

DEBUT A successful County Meath dairyman, 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan, enters a hotel bar on a July evening in 2014 to toast five people who have significantly influenced his life. Maurice's praises are solitary and silent, addressed to an imagined audience: his son living in America. Each toast occasions an account of events that have shaped Maurice's existence, revelations of secrets he's kept, and explanations of decisions he's made, some of which have destroyed lives. Maurice also considers the nature of chance and how our decisions can create as well as confound opportunity. When all is said and done, Maurice abandons regret while making a full reckoning of his losses to embrace a certain kind of peace. Newcomer Griffin's storytelling, while economical, is rich and evocative, and her deft pacing maintains suspense across several narrative arcs spanning multiple time lines. Her gift for characterization is so powerful that a commemorative coin becomes one of the book's most compelling characters. Most impressive, of course, is her creation of Maurice. His voice is credible, his story absorbing, and his humanity painfully familiar. VERDICT Highly recommended; this unforgettable first novel introduces Griffin as a writer to watch. [See Prepub Alert, 9/24/18.]-John G. Matthews, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.