When All Is Said

When All Is Said

A Novel

Book - 2019 | First U.S. edition
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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.
Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 2019
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781250200587
Branch Call Number: FIC GRI
Characteristics: 326 pages ; 22 cm


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Nov 22, 2019

As an 84 year man raises five toasts in a bar he tells the story of his life. It is rather stereotyped and sentimental but in a nice Irish way.

Nov 13, 2019

This is a remarkable book. She takes the simple everyday lives of people and makes you care about them at a deep level. Even people who are cruel or don't have any redeeming qualities are vulnerable and have a story. This author makes you care about the people she writes about.

BPLpicks Oct 31, 2019

It seems I have a love for stories where old men reminisce about their lives. This one is fabulous. This old Irish guy goes to his favourite pub to raise 5 final toasts to the 5 most important people in his life. As we hear the stories of these people we see the fabric of his life woven together. It is a gentle, bittersweet story that will leave you feeling reflective.

Jul 07, 2019

This may be a work of fiction but it's real life. Beautiful read.

Jun 11, 2019

Wow, what a book. A wonderful story well told. I read this straight through......maybe shedding a few tears.

Jun 02, 2019

Maurice, age 84, sits on a bar stool in a fancy Irish hotel, near where he grew up in poverty. As a child, he, along with his mother, worked here when it was a private mansion owned by the richest family in the shire. Maurice's father was an alcoholic who couldn't support his family. The owner of the big house employed many locals, but were terrible to work for--all had bad tempers which they took out on their employees. Now, they've pretty much died out, and Maurice has prospered, buying up most of their land. As he sits there, alone and silent, he drinks five silent toasts of his favorite whiskey to the five people who've most influenced his life. While each chapter is devoted to one of these, characters appear in several, as his whole life has been spent in the area. Maurice has reserved the honeymoon suite for himself for just this one night. It was the bedroom of the owner of the house when Maurice was a young boy working there, doing his best to stay invisible and help his mother stay invisible too. One night, he overhears a fight between the owner and his son, coming from this room, and sees something sparkly come flying toward him on his way to the stable. It's a large gold coin, which he can't help looking for, and easily finding in the grass. He quickly puts it in the crook of a tree, luckily, as the master gathers the entire staff, questioning and frisking them, threatening to strip them. Later, Maurice retrieves the coin and puts it under the pillow of his older brother, dying of TB. Tony's the only one he tells, until he marries. The chapters follow this pattern, where the same characters appear in more than one chapter, as Maurice goes back and forth in the memories of his long life. Beautiful language, even when describing terrible events like the bullying he endures from the master's son, including whippings, one of which he still carries on his face. Maurice only made it through three years of school, due to what he now knows was dyslexia, but he's a smart man, as his abilities as an adult prove. This first novel is beautifully written, the dialog shows class differences and Irish speech patterns, and wit. Look for more from Griffin.

May 02, 2019

Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Maurice is pondering his life while doing one of his favorite things...sipping good whiskey. As the afternoon at the bar progresses into evening, he toasts five important people in his life. As he delves into his memories of these five people, we learn more about the long life he has led in his beloved Ireland.

Kevin (son), Molly (daughter), Noreen (sister-in-law), Tony (older brother) and Sadie (wife) were each vital to Maurice in their own way. Their effects on his life were profound and shaped everything he did. But despite the love he felt on the inside, did he always do his best for them? Did the softness he had inside come to the surface enough?

PROS: Melancholy fiction, with important life lessons to ponder...love, regret, pride, revenge, grief - how do these emotions shape the people we become? And can we ever truly make amends for mistakes made along the way? Do we have to?

CONS: When All Is Said is a lovely little novel, but extremely slow and to be honest, I felt it was a bit disjointed.

YES or NO: It’s a YES - the right person would absolutely fall in love with this novel. I didn’t love it, but could certainly appreciate Maurice and all that he was going through.

4 Stars

ArapahoeChristineS Apr 25, 2019

A treasure of a book. A beautiful reminiscence of a life long lived. I loved this slightly melancholy, but also charming and warm story. Heartwarming, heartbreaking, and thoroughly enchanting. Wonderful to listen to; I felt like I was having a scotch with Maurice and listening to his fascinating life.


Mar 14, 2019

I loved this book of mesmerizing babble. An old Irish man goes to his favourite pub to raise 5 final toasts to the 5 most important people in his life. This is where the babble comes in. He begins to tell us stories about these people and as we listen we see the fabric of his life woven together. I was completely entranced with his life with all its up and downs and small unexpectedly funny moments. I listened to this book and it is yet again another example of how a well done audio book can greatly enhance a story. An older Irish man narrated this and he made me fall in love with the character.


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