When All Is Said Anne Griffin PDF
This is an exceptional, undeniably Irish, debut from Anne Griffin, the prose is effortlessly engaging and it is simultaneously heartbreaking and life affirming as we get intimately acquainted with the life and times of 84 year old Maurice Hannigan. Hannigan has packed up his life, leaving no loose threads prior to booking the most exclusive suite at the Rainsford House Hotel. Early on, we cotton on to how the night will end, but before that, Maurice settles in for an evening at the hotel bar to raise a toast for the five most important loves of his life. They are Tony, his brother, Molly, his daughter, Noreen or Auntie No-no, his son, Kevin, who emigrated to New Jersey, USA, becoming a notable journalist, and lastly, but of the most vital importance, his wife, Sadie.
As Maurice reminisces, we become aware of just how close his bond with Tony is, of how school became a tortuous experience as he became convinced of just how stupid he is. He leaves at 10 years old to work, like his mother, for the local rich family, the Dollards, where he undergoes a plethora of the most unhappiest of experiences that are to leave him scarred for life and shape him to be the most unforgiving of men. The scales shift as through the years the Dollard fortunes drop substantially whilst Maurice becomes a astute entrepreneurial farmer, buying up the land around his farm, becoming financially secure and wealthy. He falls for Sadie hook, line and sinker, and to his surprise and joy, she returns his love. Sadie’s sister, Noreen, is fiercely drawn to the sparkle, and she will go to any lengths to acquire it when she sees it, not afraid of making a fuss in public. Kevin makes a ritual of providing his father with rare whiskies. To Maurice’s eternal regret, he has not been an expressive man, he has never been able to articulate the depth of his love to those nearest and dearest. It becomes transparently clear that loneliness has seeped into Maurice’s heart and soul.
Anne Griffin has written a touchingly profound and moving novel, of the oh so very human Maurice, his joys and tragedies, the ghosts who have been there in his life, and his concerns that the one ghost he really wants to see has proved to be elusive. Maurice is a character you cannot help but get emotionally invested in, despite his obsession for business and making money, which, of course, left him open to missing the opportunities to be with his loved ones when they may have needed him. This novel hones in what is important in life, family, friends and love. Maurice is not infallible, he had a drive for vengeance, not always aware of the consequences of his actions but I loved and adored him. This is a brilliantly enthralling story of Maurice, of his dyslexia, his family, heartbreak, and the Ireland he lives through. Hugely recommended.
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