The stage is set for a walk down Memory Lane ... Irish octogenarian Maurice Hannigan is propping up the bar of the Rainford House Hotel, County Meath, all ready to spill the beans. In the course of the evening there will be five toasts, one for each of the most important people in his life. There will be tales of success and failure, guilt and regret and of course, of love and loss, cleverly woven through with the recurring presence of a valuable gold coin.
With its distinctive Irish voice and its endearing characters, this is a story of a long life laid bare, played out against the backdrop of rural Ireland.
We all enjoyed this book plus it led to some interesting discussions.
We all loved this book!
A wide range of opinions from "absolutely loving it" down to "just couldn't get into it". But those who really enjoyed it found it thought-provoking whilst entertaining, especially in the way it was written. The Irish aspect was lovely too. A unique read.
Delightful book. Enjoyed by most and loved by some. A picture of rural Ireland and locked in emotions.
Excellent book for discussion. We enjoyed her colourful turns of phrase and loved the way she drew the main character Maurice. The '5' were interwoven but such important people in his life. Can recommend this one.
Brilliantly constructed. A story of regret. Differing opinions about the ending. Great psychological writing - piercing insights.
All enjoyed the read, and a couple who couldn't finish the book kept it for a few days to finish it. Very healthy discussion on lots of aspects!!
A gentle book even though the ending was sad. The device, splitting the story into 'letters' to his son, worked well and the descriptions of people and place were realistic and believable.
Liked this book very much, such a true embodiment of an ageing man. Such a realistic voice. It resonated very much with some of us.
There was excellent discussion about death and dying.
Absolutely LOVED this book!! The style of writing painted a picture of the place, the people, the sadness, the joy, the loving and living. The lilt of the Irish conversations could be heard as if we were there. We do hope she writes another book, not necessarily a sequel to 'When All is Said'...
We all loved this story - I think the Irish vernacular gave it real poignancy, and the various characters were so believable! Recommended as an easy read.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the book.
A wide range of love/hate responses to this book and to the main character. Those who loved it saw it as a moving brutally honest compassionate, warm poignant portrayal of characters as they grapple with many challenges. The variety of subjects touched on gave us plenty to discuss (dyslexia,poverty, wealth, grief, loneliness, ambition, family dysfunction,and suicide) plus an interesting back story of a special coin. Others thought it waffly, tedious sad, depressing and hard to get into or relate to.
Most members really liked this book.
The group generally liked this book. They thought the setting was interesting and the plot was well-constructed.
We all loved this book, and have sought out Anne's latest book.
Greatly enjoyed by us all.
Beautifully. Evocative. We felt Maurice was a character we knew well by the end of the book.
Most of our members enjoyed the book. Some started to read, but didn't enjoy so 'gave up'. Discussion was interesting - "easy read", "liked Maurice" were some of the thoughts. Overall - enjoyable!
"Generally well received; loved the way it was written; found myself thinking in an Irish lilt; could easily be set in NZ; found this book confronting on a number of levels". It did make us think how lonely so many elderly people are, very sad.
Well put together, and received well by all the group except one person who read only one or two pages and put it aside.
Enjoyed by everyone, and a great discussion.
Gentle and undemanding, a good holiday read.
Most members of the group enjoyed this book. Very readable and a positive feel. It led to some discussion about secrecy within families.
Mixed comments. Some found the book entertaining, others felt the main character was just harsh and grumpy. Some of our group didn't relate to the difference in culture, or to the age of the main character.