Raise a glass to a heartfelt and impressive debut novel

Anne Griffin's When All Is Said is an emotive novel about loves that are no less true for having never been expressed, and 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan is a complicated and realistic character, shaped by his past

Anne Griffin: a writer with perceptive insights into the contradictions of the heart Pic: Bryan Meade

Fiction: When All Is Said, By Anne Griffin, Sceptre, €16.45

We have all seen someone like the narrator of Anne Griffin’s fine debut novel sitting on a barstool somewhere. But our eyes rarely bother to linger on such solitary elderly men sitting alone at a bar counter amid the bustle of a busy country hotel.

The plot of a novel generally moves forward and backwards in time. But, on the surface, any outsider ...