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.
About the Author
Anne Griffin’s first novel, When All is Said was a Number One Irish bestseller in 2019 and chosen as the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year in the An Post Irish Book Awards. It was also shortlisted for the John McGahern Annual Book and the RSL Christopher Bland prizes. She lives in Co. Westmeath, Ireland.
This is a story about struggling with a common human life woven from love, longing, happiness and despair. It is about how often we are not able to be happy with what we have, how often we are not able to appreciate it as it deserves. This is a story about the people who seem to be ordinary, but for the main character are special and the closest ones. The way of storytelling is heartbreaking. After many years the main character, Maurice Hannigan finds out, how much he could changed in his life, if he had told more, if he had shared the love. How much he could. But he failed. His confrontation with life is kind of confession which each of us needs before our own end of life. Although our human experience may be different from experience of the main character, this nostalgic story can be familiar to anyone who has ever come back to memories of childhood and youth, who did love and was loved by somebody, who desired revenge and suffered when regretting wasted opportunities. The main character, when talking about his closest ones, talks about himself, indeed. In this rapid monologue he reveals his pain and longing, thanks for love and care he experienced, remembers decisions which changed everything dramatically, his remorse and regrets which have never left him. But talking to himself, he can talk with the people who are gone away. Even for awhile he can take part in this particular meeting. Alone. Wojewódzka Biblioteka Publiczna im. Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego w Łodzi, Poland