[Read] ➵ When All is Said Author Anne Griffin – Alwaysonltd.co.uk
There are 5 star books and then there are five star books with a story that make me wish I could give stars This is one of them There are debut novels and then there are debut novels which after I ve finished reading, have me thinking, wow what a debut and hoping that the author is working on her next book This is one of them I don t drink much beer, let alone one not from the fridge and certainly not stout I don t like whiskey at all, but I wanted to be sitting at this bar in Ireland, drinking every one of the five toasts to people in his life, in his heart along with Maurice Hannigan Maurice Hannigan had me from the first page It felt like a memoir, touching on events and people in his life, his life exposed as he tells these stories The heartache and grief and happiness that life brought to him and the excruciating loneliness as we meet him at age 84 I felt his grief, understood his regrets and felt the love he had for these people in his life his beloved brother Tony, his first child Molly, his sister in law Maureen, his son Kevin, and the love of his life, Sadie I won t tell you here about them because it s Maurice s story to tell and it s best to hear it from him I recommend that you do This is a beautifully told story of grief, guilt, regret, family and the depths of loneliness tempered only by the love he feels for these people A truly amazing debut, a story rendered in a unique and near perfect way Here s to you Maurice, a character deserving of being remembered.This was a monthly read with Diane and Esil, my favorite book buddies I was glad to have shared this one with them Here s to you, my friends.I received an advanced copy of this book from Thomas Dunne St Martin s Press through NetGalley. This is a perfect example of a book I didn t want to end I just fell in love with the main character to the point that by the end of the story I felt like he was an old friend Maybe this book isn t going to be special for everyone, but I found it to be incredibly touching and brilliant 84 year old Maurice Hannigan takes a seat at a hotel bar in a small Irish town Before the night is over, he will toast 5 people who made an impact in his life The thing I kept thinking about while reading is how there are certain moments in life that might be insignificant to others, but they end up shaping you as a person They might be things you want to forget, but you can t deny they helped define you And that s why I was so moved by Maurice as he revisited these moments The premise of the book sounds so simple, but yet there is so much substance He s a complicated man and I was incredibly moved as I learned everything about him, the good, the bad, and all the stuff in between I m not even joking when I say it felt like I was sitting right there with him at the bar and when the night was over, I didn t want him to leave I love when I feel emotionally connected to a character because it s a feeling that doesn t always happen, at least not on this level I rarely pay much attention when other authors endorse a book, but I do find it worth noting John Boyne had some good things to say about the author and her novel If you enjoyed The Heart s Invisible Furies, consider checking this book out I won a free advance copy of this book in a giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review All views expressed are my honest opinion. A subtly beautiful story that celebrates life, loss, and, most significantly, loveI m here to remember all that I have been and all that I will never be again One night in Meath, Ireland at a hotel 84 year old Maurice Hannigan makes five toasts to five people In doing so, he recounts those who have shaped his life in the most important ways His tribute to these five individuals reveals his accomplishments, regrets, and unwavering love for his friends, family, and his wife, Sadie This is a lovely, touching read that is beautifully written Maurice s story is both understated and raw I loved getting to know him and reading his truthful account of his life He doesn t sugarcoat or make excuses He basks in the glory of his small victories In Meath, he is known for his rich speaking voice, and as a reader, his voice drew me in with his ability to take a simple story and elevate it into something special In Maurice, Griffin has created a character who is authentic, complex, and charming I felt his emotions and heartbreak My favorite toast was to his wife, Sadie I was a bit shattered in the end, but at the same time, I understood that this was the right way to end Maurice s story Highly recommended Warning have tissues handy I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and St Martin s Press in exchange for an honest review. This is an exceptional, undeniably Irish, debut from Anne Griffin, the prose is effortlessly engaging and it is simultaneously heartbreaking and life affirming as we get intimately acquainted with the life and times of 84 year old Maurice Hannigan Hannigan has packed up his life, leaving no loose threads prior to booking the most exclusive suite at the Rainsford House Hotel Early on, we cotton on to how the night will end, but before that, Maurice settles in for an evening at the hotel bar to raise a toast for the five most important loves of his life They are Tony, his brother, Molly, his daughter, Noreen or Auntie No no, his son, Kevin, who emigrated to New Jersey, USA, becoming a notable journalist, and lastly, but of the most vital importance, his wife, Sadie.As Maurice reminisces, we become aware of just how close his bond with Tony is, of how school became a tortuous experience as he became convinced of just how stupid he is He leaves at 10 years old to work, like his mother, for the local rich family, the Dollards, where he undergoes a plethora of the most unhappiest of experiences that are to leave him scarred for life and shape him to be the most unforgiving of men The scales shift as through the years the Dollard fortunes drop substantially whilst Maurice becomes a astute entrepreneurial farmer, buying up the land around his farm, becoming financially secure and wealthy He falls for Sadie hook, line and sinker, and to his surprise and joy, she returns his love Sadie s sister, Noreen, is fiercely drawn to the sparkle, and she will go to any lengths to acquire it when she sees it, not afraid of making a fuss in public Kevin makes a ritual of providing his father with rare whiskies To Maurice s eternal regret, he has not been an expressive man, he has never been able to articulate the depth of his love to those nearest and dearest It becomes transparently clear that loneliness has seeped into Maurice s heart and soul.Anne Griffin has written a touchingly profound and moving novel, of the oh so very human Maurice, his joys and tragedies, the ghosts who have been there in his life, and his concerns that the one ghost he really wants to see has proved to be elusive Maurice is a character you cannot help but get emotionally invested in, despite his obsession for business and making money, which, of course, left him open to missing the opportunities to be with his loved ones when they may have needed him This novel hones in what is important in life, family, friends and love Maurice is not infallible, he had a drive for vengeance, not always aware of the consequences of his actions but I loved and adored him This is a brilliantly enthralling story of Maurice, of his dyslexia, his family, heartbreak, and the Ireland he lives through Hugely recommended Many thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for an ARC. This is my second reading of this novel in a few months as it was chosen as our April sit in book club read and what a lovely re read this book was I started out listening to this one on Audio but the narrator doesn t do this one justice and was so glad to have my paperback copy to hand as this is one that NEEDS to be read as you need to get a voice and vision of the 84 year old Maurice in your head Beg, borrow or Steal a copy of this wonderful novel as its such a compelling read I absolutely hated having to step down from that Bar Stool by the end of this Novel, but I dont want to over stay my welcome as there are many customers awaiting that stool so they can take a turn getting to know Maurice and his life story A thought provoking and captivating novel that will quite likely break your heart I adored it This is a debut novel by Anne Griffen, and I can see why this lady has won the John McGahern award and short listed for the Hennessy award as her imagination and confidence as a writer really comes to light in this wonderful novel This lady is not just a great writer but also a great storyteller A terrific sense of time and place spanning from Ireland of the 1930s to the present day At the heart of this story is a strong man who struggles with expressing emotion, a man who fiercely protects his memory and his past and whose secrets come back to haunt him Moving and beautifully written, Anne Griffin captures the Irishiness of the Irish without being over dramatic or twee and writes a pure and simple back to basics story which in my opinion is on a par with John Boyne and Maeve Binchy and Sebastian Barry I was drawn to this book solely by its cover as I browsed in a local bookshop, The image on the cover has a wooden bar stool, and the words, Five Toasts, Five People, One lifetime I didn t even need to read the back cover as straight away Ann Griffin had caught my attention The best characters and the best stories can be found by sitting up on a high stool beside an elderly man in a bar in any small town in Ireland 84 year old Maurice Hannigan sits alone at the bar in the only hotel in a small Irish town Pull up a stool and charge your glass because Maurice is finally ready to tell his life story to you, five toasts to the five people who have meant the most to him A story full of emotion, it made me laugh and cry and I can t wait to see what Anne Griffin writes next Maurice was a very typical Irish man of his time with his his thoughts and opinions , set in his ways, a man with a large chip on his shoulder and a man who wont be bowing to anyone I found so much of my own father in this man, not in the story but in his sayings, his love of the land, and his family his companionship with his dog, you often wondered if that dog could talk what he could reveal of this quiet and lonely man, the pride of family and hard work ethic and the want to succeed and be succeeded, I have fallen in love with a couple of characters in the past year Gus Lonesome Dove and Eleanor OliphantEleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and now I can quite happily add Maurice band of characters Stories like this need to be read and savoured as there is an honestly about this story of Maurice that we seldom find in fiction I think many readers will get this one.This book would make a terrific book club read as lots to discuss here and I would love to see this story turned into a stage play as it is just made for an audience to enjoy. An unforgettable first novel A quissessentially Irish novel, filled with melancholy and angst, with some great storytelling Maurice is 84, his beloved wife Sadie gone now for two years His only child, a son lives in America with his family He now sits at a bar in a restaurant, intending to toast the five individuals who had the greatest impact on his life He has reserved the VIP suite for the night The bar where he sits, the hotel he is in, had once been the house of the wealthiest family in the village This house figured largely in his youth, and the memories are not good ones He is lonely,sorely misses his wife, feels as if he belongs nowhere, to none Now though, Maurice has a plan.As he drinks each drink we learn the story of his life The importance of a gold coin, which is also the continuous item that travels through his stories Maurice is very likable, a flawed character, and so very human It is a novel with a few gothic undertones, one filled with guilt and envy Love that couldn t be expressed A sensitive exploration of guilt and regret A quiet novel, a heartfelt story that feels very real A story of a father and son that had trouble connecting The last chapter is an emotional slayer, but the memorable last line brought the curtain down One of the best last lines i have ever read Fans of the late, great William Trevor will appreciate this novel.Reading with Angela and Esil, as always priceless.ARC from Netgalley. A Tale Of A Single Night The Story Of A Lifetime.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 And Done 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. 4.5 rounded to 5 starsGosh, I must have been under a rock for years ignorant of the high quality Irish fiction that I am gradually discovering Maeve Binchy, Patricia Gibney, Tana French, John Boyne, and now newcomer Anne Griffin are some of the wonderful Irish authors I have been delighted to come across since joining Goodreads five years ago This book is shockingly a debut as a honey of a gem it is It features Maurice, an 84 year old Irish farmer, who has lost nearly everything and everyone he has dearly loved and feels he is at the end of his life We join him over a few hours spent at the bar in an Irish hotel as he drinks a toast to the five most important people in his life If you are looking for action, suspense, or adventure, move on to something else This is a slow contemplative journey, one where the storyteller takes the time to stop and smell the roses or less delightful odors along the way Maurice is not a perfect man He knows that better than anyone else, and he accepts it, as that is who he is He admits his shortcomings and hopes he can be forgiven, but understands that will not always be the case As he takes one last stroll through the highlights and lowlights of his life, he is addressing his son Kevin who is actually far far away in America He reminisces about his joys, sorrows, successes, regrets, and moments of pride Even on this night he finds a type of closure with a few final issues I felt I really got to know Maurice Accompanying him on his final exploration of life was heartrending and an experience I won t soon forget Such a quiet novel, yet so profound I look forward to whatever Ms Griffin writes next When All Is Said is highly recommended for everyone looking for a moving, meaningful read Thank you to Net Galley, St Martin s Press Thomas Dunne Books, and Ms Anne Griffin for an advanced review copy Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. I am becoming a huge fan of Irish stories and authors I loved 84 year old Maurice, who has lost his beloved wife 2 yrs ago, and isn t doing well without her.He plans a memorable night at a hotel bar that holds a personal historyand through the course of the night makes narrative toasts with a fine whiskey to five people, this followed by a stay in the honeymoon suite at the same hotel.At each toast during this night, we find out the history of Maurice and the significance of each of these five people in his life.I so enjoyed his story Recommended Thank you to Netgalley and St Martin s Press for the ARC Eighty four year old Maurice Hannigan is ready to say goodbye All his affairs are in order, property sold, dog given to new owners, money in various accounts for various people, things given away, boxes packed with names of who gets the contents, everything done and sorted so he can enter a nursing home the next day At least that is where he tells those in the know, that he is going There are five people whose memories he want to toast first though One of the most poignant is the toast to his late brother The love between Maurice and his older brother Tony, was something most people could only hope to have Five years older than Maurice, Tony let Maurice know he would always be there to protect Maurice Maybe reading wasn t Maurice s thing but Tony knew that Maurice would win in life, doing other things just as big or bigger than reading When people asked Maurice what he wanted to be when he grew up, Maurice said he wanted to be Tonyit was as simple as that, nothing was better than Tony The last person Maurice toasted to was his late wife, Sadie, who had died two years earlier It s Sadie s death that has broken Maurice s heart and spirit and his depression is a bottomless pit Maurice was always faithful to Sadie, never wanted another woman, but he knows he let her down in ways that he knew he was doing at the time Stubbornness was always strong in Maurice, he was a stubborn man, set in his ways, always after money even after he had than enough, despite the fact that Sadie didn t like that he was so intent on earning money So they didn t talk about money but at the same time, Sadie knew she could never order tea with her Sunday dinner because Maurice said they could have tea at home, instead When Sadie rebelled, Maurice realized how much he d hurt her at times and even then, he still couldn t just let her have her way These types of things are on Maurice s mind as he makes his toast to her Intertwined in these toasts is another story, a mystery, that concerns a once rich family that was not only unkind but cruel to Maurice s family A young Maurice does something that ends up hurting that family and also Maurice gets his revenge on that family as he slowly buys up all their properties when they hit hard times His need for revenge is what drives Maurice to keep working for money, than they could possibly need, and this urge colors all parts of his life I suspected how the book would end and I was right I felt sad during the entire book and certainly at the end Depression can take your life while you are still alive and make you do things you might not do if you could see past that depression Thank you to St Martin s Press and NetGalley for this ARC.