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When All Is Said

Confession: I adore Irish writers.

I love their turn of phrase, Irishisms and ability to walk that precarious line between gut wrenching tragedy and side-splitting humour. Not to mention their ability to tell a bloody good yarn that never fails to amuse and completely warm my heart with joy.

Anne Griffin’s debut novel ‘When All Is Said’ ticks the boxes of all the above. This is a story about 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. Perched on a bar stool in a grand hotel in his small hometown, Maurice is raising five toasts to five people who have meant the most to him throughout his life.

Maurice is a simple man; a successful farmer well versed in the lay of the land but rather inept when it comes to communication or emotional expression. As the novel progresses, Maurice unravels like a spool of thread, confessing a lifetime of unspoken joy, bitter regret, a secret tragedy and deep love.

Heartbreaking and heart-warming all at the same time. I loved this novel and highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Anna