Book Reviews

Lazy Saturday Review: When All Is Said by Anne Griffin @AnneGriffin_ @HodderBooks @SceptreBooks

It’s the weekend already! Time flies, and books too! Today, we’re discussing a very special book. One that stays with you, one that makes you think and makes you feel all the feels. Time to fill our heart with emotions…

I received an e-copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the publisher.


From LipsyyI started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot (or content) and writing and more on my overall feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!

Ps: My lazy reviews are more often good ones than rants, haha!

whenallissaidTitle: When All Is Said
Author: Anne Griffin
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date of hardback publication: 24th January 2019
Format: ARC
Number of pages: 272

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.


One night, one man, one life.

Some stories reach out for your heart, envelop it with warmth and gently speak to it. This is what When All Is Said does.

Maurice, on a June night, decides to toast to five people, tell their stories and through them, explore his own. What makes a man? Which memories stick with us no matter what? What breaks us?

Spending time with Maurice is like sitting with an old friend, raising glasses to a time long gone, reminiscing the good and bad.

I had this vision while reading this poetic and authentic novel. I felt my hand go over Maurice’s face, gently brushing over each scar, each wrinkle, each crease in his features. The honest and naked truth of a man who did his best, who doesn’t try to hide his faults, who assesses a life lived. Genuine, powerful, and full of emotions, When All Is Said is a trip down memory lane with a hand firmly grasping the present, offering hindsight on events and people who coloured the days and years of a man.

The point of those trips to the past is not to give lessons or give us the key to a better life. It is simpler than this. This is an honest testimony brought to life by a skilled author who has a strong understanding of the human psyche.

Sitting alone in this bar, Maurice is the perfect portray of loneliness, of weariness. If I loved every chapter and felt tears gathering at the corners of my eyes several times, it is his wife’s absence, and Maurice’s heartbreaking tale of the hole she left that truly had me crying.

When All Is Said is a brilliant and emotional debut.

This marvelous read is available now! Get it!



Anne Griffin is an Irish novelist. She was educated at University College Dublin where she received her MA in Creative Writing

Anne was awarded the John McGahern Award for Literature, recognising previous and current works. Amongst others, she has been shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award and the Sunday Business Post Short Story Award.

Anne’s debut novel ‘When All Is Said’ will be published by Sceptre in the UK and Ireland on 24th January, 2019 and by Thomas Dunne Books in the US and Canada on the 5th March, 2019. It will also be published by Rowohlt Verlag in Germany, Delcourt in France, by Harper Collins Holland in the Netherlands, by Wydawnictwo Czarna in Poland, and by Tyto Alba in Lithuania.


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