Cover Image: When All is Said

When All is Said

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Member Reviews

I am using this is my first book for the reading bingo challenge 2019 - a debut. It is a beautifully written story but a bit different from anything else I have read. Read a few books of a similar style but they have always been from a woman's viewpoint - enjoyed that this one was written from a man's perspective. Quite sad in places and makes you think about getting older. An author to watch.
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Very much enjoyed this book, it was extremely charming and really makes you think about life. I dont want to write anything else about it because i do not wish to spoil your experience of the book. Highly recommended.
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Truly marvellous.
The premise doesn't sound much; an old man in a bar reminiscing about his past.  And indeed, nothing earth shattering happens.  But it is a masterpiece! The writing is so assured; the narrator's voice never falters.  These are real people with every human frailty, and we are immediately involved in their lives.
I absolutely loved it.  Highly recommended
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC
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phenomenal  debut  .. 5 whopping stars

To say I adored this book is an understatement, it's a breathtaking debut, told as the rambling narrative of an 84 year old man, one who recognises his flaws, one who doesn't try to hide or excuse them, one who is brutally honest about himself, and one who I fell a little bit in love with!

From the humblest of beginnings Maurice tells his life story so vividly whilst raising a glass to the 5 people who impacted his life;  the shame, heartbreak and hatred of his early days,  his love and regrets, the drive to succeed and the cost of that determination and the loneliness, bewilderment and desolation of bereavement.  The writing is sublime, I was transported to the settings, shared in the emotions and truly didn't want this wonderful story to end .... ever!

There are no big reveals, no twists to look out for, no OMG moments just a wonderful story, beautifully told and one I will be recommending this gem of a book to anyone who will listen.  

Many thanks to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the opportunity to read this book. My honest thoughts and opinion are expressed in this review.
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Five toasts. Five people. One lifetime.
When All is Said is a heartwarming story about the 5 people who have impacted Maurice Hannigan, an old man near the end of his life.
It's a beautifully written tale, told from Maurice as he sits in a bar on the last night of his life.
Each toast represents a person who impacted his life and made him who he is.
The ending will break your heart!
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5 Solid Stars for this debut! I felt I was sitting beside Maurice Hannigan in that bar and he was telling me about each of the people he was drinking to as he told me his life story. Maurice is not perfect - he has his flaws which makes him even more endearing. He has had a full life shaped by the events of his youth. There have been five members of his family that have brought him to where he is now. There is such simplicity in the writing  making it more effective and it is hard to believe that the author has not led this life.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to more by this author.
Many thanks to Netgalley/Anne Griffin/Hodder & Stoughton for a digital copy of this title. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I loved this book. Maurice tells his life story through toasts he makes to 5 people.  It was a story filled with misfortune and love. I was hooked and raced through the book. 

I can't wait to read more books by this author.

If I could I would give 4.5 stars.
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This is a beautiful book. The lyrical writing and heartbreaking, yet ultimately heart-warming story had me choked up on more than one occasion, but this may be the first book ever to have achieved that within the first 5%! I loved the narrative of the five toasts and may have fallen a little bit in love with the grumpy Maurice. This is definitely one that will stick with me and I recommend it highly.
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All Is Said is a story about an Irish man called Maurice. It's told in his own words in the form of a long letter to his son. It doesn't read like a letter though. His tale weaves in and out of the past as he makes his toasts to the five important people. My thoughts in reading these stories where there's a transition in viewpoint or time frame is sometimes: when will this get to the point? But I was drawn into Maurice's story and quickly came to like this honest man who doesn't hold back. I was riveted, eager to find out where this would all lead and why he was telling his story right now? The reasons are slowly unravelled in the end. 

I really loved this novel, I loved the characters and the way that the story was told. It's as though you're sitting down listening to a real person tell you their life story, something that I've always enjoyed. (I don't know if many people sit around and tell each other their life stories anymore.) This novel is never slow and there are no boring bits. 

This is a sweet, sad and very human story. I would recommend it to anyone. It feels so real. It's so perfect.
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Maurice Hannigan sits alone in a bar.  As the night moves on, Maurice raises 5 toasts to those who have meant the most to him during his 84 years, and tells his story through a monologue directed to his son, Kevin. Totally moving, this book is so beautifully written it brought a tear to my eye on more than one occasion.  I devoured it more or less in one sitting.
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"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."

I struggled to read this if I am being brutally honest and probably would have given up if I wasn't provided with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the writing or the characters (hence the 3 stars) it just wasn't my cup of tea.
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Maurice Hannigan is an Irish farmer, land-owner and more. He is in his 80’s and we find him at a hotel bar raising a glass or five as he recalls his life. Settle in with your favourite tipple as you join Maurice and listen to him toasting five folk who mean so much to him. He is speaking to Kevin as he leads us through memorable times in his life – the hardship, the regrets, the sadness and the joy – Maurice’s honesty is refreshing and his story will be one you won’t want to leave.

Anne Griffin has written a wonderfully interesting, heart-wrenching and charming book.   Beautifully written it will capture and hold you enthralled until the very end. Don’t be surprised if you shed a tear or two you’ll also cheer, grimace and laugh alongside this old curmudgeon with a heart. Maurice is a great character, believable and whose story is well worth reading. As readers what an opportunity to be given such an insight into Maurice’s life, thoughts and feelings.

I would certainly recommend this book to anyone and believe it will appeal to all.

With thanks to Sceptre via NetGalley for an eCopy of When All is Said by Anne Griffin. All thoughts are my own, I have not received any payment for the review of this book.
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Great first novel.I thoroughly enjoyed.
Maurice was a farmer who after the death of his wife sells his farm land.He has decided to move into a home,or has he?
Before he moves he sits in a local hotel and has five drinks to toast people in his life that have meant something.
The story goes into detail about each person he remembers.
I found this book quite compulsive as I was very interested in his life and read it quickly to see what would happen.
Look forward to Anne's next book.
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Maurice Hannigan is toasting five people who made the biggest impact on his life - and left him behind. Five people, five drinks, five stories. But in the centre of the book is Maurice himself - we meet  him in various stages of his life, as a son, husband, brother, an unscrupulous businessman, a mean and difficult person, but also an old man deeply suffering after losing his beloved wife. He is a great character, flawed but likeable and although the story is very sad in places, there is also humour and affection.,

This story is staged in five acts, each of them interluded with a break. My main problem with the book was its unevenness - it was slightly too long in places, and despite the beautiful, flowing prose I struggled to stay connected at all times. I loved the first part and the last one, the rest was less engaging. Having said that, Maurice's life story was a fascinating and gripping story.
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When All Is Said boasts impressive plugs from respectable writers: Donal Ryan and Graham Norton are just two of them. And they're right - this is an astonishing book. 

We meet Maurice Hannigan, a successful businessman, 84 years old and nearing the end of his time,  reminiscing about the five people who affected him most in his life. He sits in his local hotel, downing drinks at the bar and uses each drink to toast one of those individuals. His rambling and conversational narrative is apparently for the benefit of Kevin, his son across the water in New York. 

Hannigan's story is one of rags to riches. After an unsuccessful attempt at school, he started his working life as a hand on the Dollards' estate. Seventy years later, through shrewd buying and selling, he owns that estate. It would have been easy to write a thrilling account of the wheeling and dealing that brought him that success, but instead the novel is one of people and relationships. We see how those relationships both changed events, and were changed by them. The underlying stories are personal, and mostly stories of regret. In particular, we see how events were affected by the toss of a coin, the ripples still being felt so many decades later. We see how much Hannigan loved Sadie, his late wife, yet neglected her and treated her badly. We see Hannigan conflicted by his hatred of the Dollards but his compassion for individuals. We see how he wrestles with his conscience - and often ends up victorious. 

This is a deep, complex life story that exposes itself subtly, layer on layer. That the reader can be made to feel any sympathy at all for an Irish property dealer is a feat - to get the reader so deep into his psyche is almost miraculous. 

This really is a fantastic book that works on so many levels. It is sad, very sad, but also very human and narrated with a voice that is not self-pitying. 

Highly recommended.
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What a beautifully written memorable tale, told in the form of a letter to his son, by 84 year old Maurice Hannigan. The love, loss, and longing, but most of all love, is palpable in this story, as Maurice describes his harsh, poverty stricken upbringing, where he and his family suffer the mercilesslness of their masters at the ‘big house’, the Hannigans being the lowly servants of these people. 
Maurice’s ‘rags to riches’ story is admirable, but fired as it is by his relentless quest for revenge against his erstwhile masters and their family, it is much less admirable, though perhaps justifiable. As Maurice recounts his life story, the reader realise that he himself has come to understand that his behaviour towards certain members of this family have been questionable, and Maurice recognises that he has some regrets about some of the decisions he has made over the years. In his own way, and secretly, he has tried to make amends to the innocent descendants of his old adversaries, with varying success.
Maurice’s story describes the extreme and long lasting grief felt by himself and his mother, during the illness, decline and early death of his adored older brother Tony.
Then as he continues with his five toasts to the important people in his life, the story culminates in the toast to his wife, and the all-consuming loss, grief and loneliness he feels after her death.
Having put all his affairs in order, Maurice is determined to take the final step, the only one he feels is left for him. His description of the desperate loneliness, and aloneness in the world, is heartbreaking. The recounting if his last actions, including the voice recording to his much loved son, is unbearably poignant and sad.
But this is ultimately a story of love, and the power of love. Though sad in parts, it is not depressing, rather it is life affirming, told with a good measure of warm Irish wit and humour. I smiled, I laughed, and I cried, and I could not put this book down. It will stay with me long after others have faded. 
I recommend this book, and I thank Netgalley and the publisher  for my advance copy. What a talented storyteller is Anne Griffin.
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Oh, I just loved this. Great story-telling, secrets and a slightly unusual plot. What more can you ask? 

Pull up a chair, and make yourself cosy for a weekend with Maurice and his family. It's not just your usual poor boy in Ireland...Maurice has a grand story to tell. 

Highly recommended.
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An absolute gem of a book. The most beautifully written story I have read in some time. Narrated perfectly by 84 year old Maurice, the concept which had the potential to be twee was anything but, just an honest account of an old man's life and those that helped shape it. Amazing!
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When All is Said is a thought provoking book illustrating how words unspoken can result in deep regret and unhappiness. It's a story of love, loss and overwhelming grief. I really liked the format of a father speaking to his son and, within the contents of the narrative, reminiscing about people and events from the past. This aspect of the book was very effective and cleverly done.

While I enjoyed the writing very much, I'd have liked a little more positivity and was disappointed that the ending was as I expected but not what I'd hoped for. I'd definitely read more by Anne Griffen.
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Maurice Hannigan sits in the bar in his home town and toast the five people that have been important in his life. As he sits alone in the bar in Ireland he talks in his head to his son who lives in America explaining why these people were instrumental in his life.

He is booked in as a VIP in the honeymoon suite and during the evening he tells his story which is full of highs and lows during which he pours out his love that he has never really shown to the world.
This book made me laugh and cry and is a great read.
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