The All of It

The All of It

Book - 1988
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A sleeper hit when first published in 1986, Jeannette Haien's exquisite, beloved first novel is a deceptively simple story that has the power and resonance of myth. The story begins on a rainy morning as Father Declan de Loughry stands fishing in an Irish salmon stream, pondering the recent deathbed confession of one of his parishioners. Kevin Dennehy and his wife, Enda, have been sweetly living a lie for some 50 years, a lie the full extent of which Father Declan learns only when Enda finally confides "the all of it." Her tale of suffering mesmerizes the priest, who recognizes that it is also a tale of sin and scandal, a transgression he cannot ignore. The resolution of his dilemma is a triumph of strength and empathy that, as Benedict Kiely has said, makes The All of It "a book to remember".
Publisher: New York : HarperPerennial, 1988, c1986
ISBN: 9780060971472
Characteristics: 145 p


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May 18, 2018

In 1986 David Godine published the first novel of Jeannette Haien when she was in her mid-sixties. The All of It is only 145 pages long but what a shining jewel of a book it is. In 2011 it gained renewed attention after Maile Meloy showed it to Ann Patchett and this edition was published. Such beautiful language of a simple but moving tale with two characters so remarkable they will linger in your mind long after you've sadly finished this perfect novel. And a bonus: there's a lovely scene of fly-fishing for salmon in Ireland!

multcolib_alisonk Apr 23, 2014

A quick, poignant read about love in all its forms. If you love beautiful language, small villages, all things Irish, fly fishing and philosophy, try this.

Nov 13, 2011

A classic story that makes you proud to be a human after all.

patienceandfortitude Oct 31, 2011

A short, but well-written and thought provoking novel, which takes place in Ireland and is about the relationship between a priest and a new widow with a big secret. Her life story is disturbing and his reactions to it as a man and a priest are quite fascinating. Read it in one day and enjoyed every minute.

Jul 28, 2011

This novel is a gem. It reads like a song.Haien capture the musicality of Irish speech beautifully. I missed its quiet impact in the late 80s and am glad of Ann Patchett's recent enthusiasm and promotion which is giving it a new life.

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