Listening Still: Story of undertaker with supernatural gift imbued with tender humour

Magic realism sets the tone in Anne Griffin’s novel Listening Still, where the protagonist is able to sit and chat with the recently deceased

Anne Griffin showcases an ability to wring every ounce of emotion out of her story. Picture: Ger Holland


Listening Still

By Anne Griffin

Sceptre, €18.99

Whether you enjoy Anne Griffin’s second novel or not depends on one thing: can you get your head around the book’s central premise? The entire novel hinges on whether the reader believes in the extraordinary ability of the narrator, Jeanie Masterson, a Midlands undertaker who can speak to the recently deceased.

It’s not that Jeanie intuits fragments of the dead person’s feelings in some shamanistic ritual involving ...