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March 20, 2019


#Ireland Anne Griffin

by NancyElin




  1. This book will appeal to many lovers of a well-written
  2. sentimental story about a 84 yr old Irishman
  3. sitting in a hotel bar…toasting ‘for the last time’
  4. the 5 most important people in his life.

Motif: Five monologues are linked by the presence of a stolen coin.

Strong point:

  1. The first 2 toasts (Tony, brother and Molly, sister still-born)
  2. were the best.
  3. Was that a tear I pinked away
  4. ..or a speck of dust in my eye?
  5. Whatever it was…I felt very moved by these chapters.

Weak point:

  1. Unfortunately after 50 % of the book….I lost interest.
  2. his story really had no direction, no progression at all
  3. especially since the reader already knows
  4. …the ending from the get-go.
  5. The last toasts felt like ‘filler’
  6. …for instance the long toast about
  7. …the  first day Maurice met his wife.
  8. As Montaigne once said:
  9. “Those who have A thin body fill it out with padding.
  10. Those who have slim substance….swell it out with words.”


Weak point:

  1. I will be curious if this new book will make it on to
  2. longlists for Irish book awards. It wouldn’t surprise if it did.
  3. I just am not a fan on sugar-spin sweet stories.
  4. I like a bit  more  ‘bite’.

Last thoughts:

  1. We don’t become our wisest selves without effort.
  2. It requires us to become skilled…
  3. in managing our emotions,
  4. in forming intimate relationships.
  5. and at letting go.
  6. After learning these life lessons
  7. …Maurice is ready to share them with the reader.
  8. This is a powerful debut novel.
  9. It is good….but not great.
  10. Perfect reading for the beach or in waiting-rooms.
Read more from fiction, Ireland

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