How long does it take to get to know someone? With Anne Griffin’s talent the answer is 5 toasts.
Book Blurb of When All is Said
Five toasts. Five people. One lifetime. ‘An extraordinary novel, a poetic writer, and a story that moved me to tears.’ John Boyne ‘I’m here to remember – all that I have been and all that I will never be again.’ 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 powerfully and poignantly laid bare. Heart-breaking and heart-warming all at once, the voice of Maurice Hannigan will stay with you long after all is said.
Book Review of When All is Said
One night, five toasts and we know the life story of Maurice, 84 year old Maurice who is sitting alone in the bar of his hotel and sharing his lifetime memories with us because he is “here to remember all that he has been and all that he will never be gain”.
He names each toast after people who had played a significant role in his life. Most of them are not around anymore and that makes his stories even harder to be told.
The first toast is for his beloved big brother – Tony, the second one is to Molly – his first child, the third is to his sister in law, his son Kevin and the last one is to the love of his life – Sadie.
While listening to Maurice’s story you can feel his grief, pain and loneliness. As he says “No one, no one really knows loss until it’s someone you love. The deep-down kind of love that holds on to your bones and digs itself right in under your fingernails, as hard to budge as the years of compacted earth. And when it’s gone … it’s as if it’s been ripped from you. Raw and exposed, you stand dripping blood all over the good feckin’ carpet. Half-human, half-dead, one foot already in the grave.”
He has lost almost everything in his life and all he has left are his memories. Memories he intends to share for one last time.