A wonderful debut novel and a must-read for fans of John Boyne’s The Heart’s Invisible Furies. Maurice Hannigan is 84 years-old, and sits in an Irish hotel bar. Over the course of the night he toasts the five people who are most important to him: his brother Tony; his daughter Molly and son Kevin, his Auntie No-no; and the most important, his wife Sadie. He narrates the story of his life: growing up with dyslexia, working on a farm, eventually falling in love, marrying and starting a family. This is a nostalgic, yet life-affirming read. I think the quiet power of this book is that although the story itself engages the reader totally (as does the wonderfully cantankerous Maurice) the love he has for each family member, apparent behind the words, is so pure and fundamental, so ‘unadorned’ and, so very human.