When All is Said

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 24 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

What a beautiful, sad and interesting read. It made me smile, cry and feel like I knew this man by the end. His life story was fascinating and explained a lot about his character and how he came to be. 
It was a slow but still compelling read. A real page turner and not because I wanted to know ‘who did it’ but I was so intrigued by this character. I hated the ending but if I’m honest it was fitting.
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I just loved When all is said. An eighty year old man looking back on his life and trying to make amends. A real page turner that will live with me long after I start my next book.
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When All is Said was a beautiful but quite sad read.  Over the course of one evening in a hotel bar in a small Irish town Maurice toasts 5 important people in his life, and in doing so ‘tells’ the story of his life.  

This is a quiet, slow book - not a lot happens, but there are plenty of plot twists, lots of complex characters and themes of secrecy, loyalty, family and love running through it all.

I loved it.
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Loved it.......very clever story line remembering past life and loves intertwined with a story of a stolen coin. Very emotional at the end of the book.
My book club enjoyed it too. Thank you
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The idea of telling a life in five toasts was very clever, it allowed the story to unravel in a way that seemed disjointed at first but that all linked up in the end, the use of alcohol also made the rambling story telling seem realistic too.
Not a book that will stay with me for long but a fun read while it lasted
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If I could give this book 10 stars I would, a beautifully written story about Maurice an 84yr old man who sits alone in a hotel toasting a drink to 5 people who have made a difference in his life and tells the story of his life up until now in the bar.

Maurice's has moments of darkness and light, of love and laughter, of sadness and regret. 

It’s such a powerful book and one that will resonate so deeply within you; for after all it only ends one way and we all have regrets and things we wish we could change, things we wish we said and didn’t.

It’s stunning, a masterpiece and one that will stay with me for quite some time.

Here’s to Maurice!
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Interesting book. Wasn't quite sure where we were going, but ended up with tales from his past which kept me wanting to read more
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Have you ever read a book where the character becomes almost real to you? Maybe they are just really well written, perhaps the character thinks so much like you it feels like the writer got in your head? Or they remind you so much of someone you feel sure the writer must have known that person? Well for me Maurice Hannigan is so like someone I knew, someone very dear but no longer with us that I instantly fell in love with this book. I spent an inordinate amount of time wiping tears off my Kindle. 

This isn't a book where a massive amount happens, its a story about life and its joy and regrets. Maurice's narration is the very best of Irish storytelling - if you have ever propped up a bar with a proper Irish gentleman you'll know they can spin a tale from nothing over a whisky or two. And I wish I could be in that bar with Maurice or the lost Irish gentleman he reminded me so much of. This one will stay with me for a while.
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*** ARC provided by Netgalley via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ***

During the course of a single night Maurice Hannigan gives us the story of his life. Told through the memories of and appreciation of five special people in his life who he is raising a toast to. This book feels a little like the five people you meet in heaven as we learn what each of Maurice’s five have taught him through his life & well as his regrets and the impact we often have on others without being aware of it.

I loved this book and think it was beautifully written. There seemed to be no secret where we were heading as the night draws on but do we need a twist in a story like this? I don’t think that’s the point. Great story telling and a book I’ll recommend to others.
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When I began to read 'When All is Said' I thought I'd made a mistake. I'd expected a heart-warming tale and yet here was an 84 year old bloke, sitting on a barstool, getting slowly and deliberately drunk. Not my kind of novel.
But as I read on my heart truly warmed to Maurice Hannigan, with all his flaws and resentments. As he raises the five toasts which provide the stucture of Anne Griffin's debut novel, we get to see the love and kindness which he hides behind his gruff exterior. And with each of the five characters he toasts - his brother Tony,  his daughter Molly, his sister-in-law Noreen, his sin Kevin and finally his wife Sadie - we share the lives and losses that have shaped his life. 
A wonderful read, page-turning in the very best way.
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I was intrigued by the chapter openings as I started to read this lovely Irish novel. We see the world through the storyteller's eyes, from his childhood through to his eighties, and you can't help but like him even though he has made some questionable decisions in the past. Will definitely be looking out for Anne Griffin's next work.
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A quintessentially Irish novel that takes you through the life of one man as he looks back at his life and particularly his regrets and family tragedies. 

He tells five stories, toasting five people who impacted him the most. I did find that at times elements of the story were a little too slow for me and I struggled to stay engaged. And whilst the ending was also clear to me from the outset, this didn't take away from the emotional impact.
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When All is Said is the debut novel by Anne Griffin and if this is her debut I can't wait to read her next one.  Told through the beautiful, soulful and melodic voice of Maurice Hannigan, an 84 year old widower When All Is Said is a love letter to his estranged son Kevin.Maurice sits alone in a hotel bar in Ireland and toasts the 5 most important people in his life.  Taking the reader on the incredibly moving journey back to his childhood Maurice shares his loves, losses, regrets with such clarity I felt honoured and privileged to be reading his story.  Maurice's voice is so real I could literally hear him in my head and at times his honesty and observations of life broke my heart.Each chapter is a toast to someone special, his older brother Tony, his young daughter Molly, his sister-in-law Noreen, his son Kevin and finally the love of his life, his wife Sadie.  This book is a highly emotional, powerfully written, story of love, loss, regret and will stay in my heart and in my head for a long time.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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I'm sat crying with a breaking heart after finishing this book. What a truly beautiful story, I felt every word as if Maurice was sat beside me. I loved every word of this book and I feel it will stay with me.
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I love the premise of this book.  A man reflecting back on his life and those who had influence over it.  There was a good mix of laughter and good times and those filled with tears.  An original idea for the book that I really enjoyed.
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I must admit something, as weird as this may sound, but every time that my mind drifts to this truly exquisite and beautiful novel, all I can hear is the opening bars of Piano Man. It is a truly strange experience, almost as though Billy Joel is sitting at a miniature piano in a bar in the back of my brain; ready to regale me with the stories of the strangers that make up the shadows of my everyday experience. The ones who could bring so much to my life, but don’t; the ones who could be my found-family, but are not given the opportunity.
It is probably because both pieces illicit the same feelings within me; the warmth of the familiar, the melancholia of memory.
When All Is Said is a beautiful and reluctant tribute to the people, however fleeting, in the protagonist’s life who have made him who he is; whose very presence, or the love or hate they had for him, shaped his actions, for better or for worse. Maurice, a gruff Irish businessman getting on in years, is the kind of protagonist whose story is almost never told in life; a man of few words, reluctant to express the love to the people in his life who so clearly deserve it; whose thoughts are filled with words not readily or easily expressed. Because of this, in the creation of such an introspective novel, Griffin managed to form a character who is authentic, complex, and charming; one that is utterly, unmistakably human. 
Here is to you Maurice. For all of your griefs, your loves, your regrets; the things that make you beautiful, but also for the things that make you less so.
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I bumped When All Is Said up the TBR pile after reading so many fantastic reviews and I am so pleased that I did.

This is a book based on a wonderful love story that takes you on a journey from childhood to marriage and through to old age. It is brimming with love, loss, commitment and regrets.

A wonderful story told from the perspective of Maurice who sits down in the very significant Rainford House Hotel one night and tells us his story accompanied by his five chosen drinks to toast the most important people in his life. 

I loved this book and just had to keep reading, I chose this to read whilst on holiday and picked it back up every time I sat down and got up early as I was so keen to keep reading. A truly lovely story that will leave you with all of the emotions and feelings.
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A captivating story of reminiscences, happy and sad told through the voice of Irishman Maurice Hannigan. Beautifully written with many poignant descriptions. Highly recommended. Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher, Sceptre for an ARC.
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Maurice Hannigan has lived a good life into his 80s. As he sits at the bar in the Rainford House Hotel, he orders 5 different drinks. With each drink he toasts one person that has shaped and influenced his life: his older brother, his daughter, his sister-in-law, his son and his wife. Each toast tells us the story of Maurice and how each of these people impacted on Maurice and his decisions through his life. This story is woven into another story, Maurice's complicated relationship with the Rainford House Hotel and a certain gold coin. 

This was a very poignant story, I found myself crying several times throughout the book from the beginning. It's nostalgic without being overly so, there's a certain bittersweet quality the whole thing. Griffin has a way with words that really pulled on my heartstrings. The book has a certain shade of Irishness to it, found especially the early years of Maurice's life, as well as simple turns of phrases throughout the whole story. Maurice could easily be someone you know, an old man full of proud moments and regrets, unable to say how they truly feel to their loved ones, not used to showing their emotions. 

I did find that even though I really enjoyed reading it, I wasn't compelled to pick it up and devour it. I don't know if it's because I simply wanted to savour it, if it was a reading slump or if it was because I found it rambled on a bit. I think the secondary story with the gold coin made it drag a bit. If there was a tighter edit then this mightn't have been the case (speaking of editing, it did crack me up a bit to see Dunnes Stores edited to Dunne's Stores). Overall though, it's a book I can see myself thinking about quite a bit over the next few weeks, I feel like it's stuck in my head!
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A gentle, easy read with a strong central voice and well-observed character portraits. I didn't connect as well with the present day framework as the individual reminiscences but enjoyed the novel overall.
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