Showing posts with the label Fatherhood

Review: When All Is Said - Anne Griffin

When All Is Said by Anne Griffin
Pages: 335
Series: None
Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction/Chick Lit, Fatherhood, Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: UK: Sceptre/US: Thomas Dunne
Publication Date: UK: 24 January 2019/US: 5 March 2019
My rating:

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

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 powerfully and poignantly laid bare.

Heart-breaking and heart-warming all at once, the voice of Maurice Hannigan will stay with you long after all is said.


Well, I can certainly see why this is one of the most anticipated books of 2019. It has a quiet, understated beauty to it that captures your heart right from the beginning; I knew pretty early on this was going to be an emotive experience, and I wasn't wrong. It doesn't shout its message, it merely whispers it, but it's all the more powerful because of that. This is a profound, moving and bittersweet story, and main character Maurice is a loveable, lonely guy of a certain age who is reminiscing about his life and loved ones, all of whom left him long ago. The minor characters are all shown through the eyes of Maury which was an interesting concept in itself. There are some real tearjerker moments but also some which never fail to make you laugh-out-loud.

Griffin writes in such a way that it is virtually impossible to not be enamoured with her poignant story. Essentially this is a sad tale, but the author manages to perfectly balance the light and shade to keep the narrative from becoming too unbalanced. The beautiful, inspirational message within the pages tells us to forgive others and, most importantly, forgive ourselves; we, as humans, are not infallible, so being able to forgive is an integral part of living. This is an unforgettable debut that is well worth picking up, especially for fans of John Boyne, as this reminded me very much of his emotionally-charged plots. I look forward to reading more from Griffin in, hopefully, the not too distant future.

Many thanks to Thomas Dunne Books for an ARC.

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