Wednesday 30 January 2019


When All Is Said by Annie Griffin

I've recently become a member of the 'Friends of Bookends' community, which means that the kind folks over at Headline send me a selection of not yet published books every few months, in return for me sharing my thoughts on a couple of the reads with them. With the new influencer/social media advertising standards having come into force in the UK recently I'm putting this disclaimer up front, before delving into my review for my favourite book of the bunch so far: When All Is Said by Annie Griffin. I didn't know anything about this novel before going in and wow, I was blown away!

Maurice is recounting pivotal moments in his live through five people that made a significant impact during his 84 years on earth. He tells stories of his childhood and adulthood in a voice message to his son Kevin, and as he journeys through his life from struggling in school and starting work at a very young age to support his family, all the way down to the loss of his wife not too long ago, we get to know Maurice in an intimate way.

While he perhaps seemed a closed-off and stubborn father to his son, Maurice cared deeply and felt maybe even more than the average person. And it's not until he is 84 years of age that he opens up about his life; from the heart-wrenching moments of emotional and physical torture through to the funny events that give a more lighthearted touch to an otherwise quite heavy and emotional read.

When All Is Said is a really beautiful and intimate portrait of one person's life. Someone who perhaps seems fairly uninteresting on the outside but who has lived an incredible life, defying all odds to achieve great things.

Anne Griffin has created an incredibly captivating story, and by recounting Maurice's life in the format she has – five memories centering on the five most important people he crossed paths with – a very unique one too. When All Is Said was engrossing, beautiful and heartbreaking – definitely one to look out for this year on the bestseller and awards lists!

When All Is Said
by Annie Griffin is published by Sceptre and you can get your copy now from Foyles or your own preferred retailer.


Disclaimer: This book was gifted to me by the publisher, but it was my choice to cover it on my blog with an honest review.

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