General Fiction Jeannette Haien The All of It

ISBN 13: 9780060971472

The All of It

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9780060971472: The All of It

JeannetteHaien’s award-winning first novel relates theseemingly simple tale of a parishioner confiding in her priest, but the tangledconfession brings secrets to light that provoke a moral quandary for not onlythe clergyman, but the reader as well. Set in a small town in Ireland, Haien’s intimate novel of conversations anddilemmas—perfect for readers of Paul Harding’s Tinkers, Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead, and Flannery O’Connor’sWise Blood—is “an elegantly written, compact and often subtle tale ofmorality and passion that gives voice to an age-old concern in a fresh way” (NewYork Times Book Review).Harper Perennial breathes new life into this 1986 classic in a new edition withan introduction by Ann Patchett.

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Review:

Soaked by a miserable rain, Father Declan de Lowry swats midges and unsuccessfully casts for salmon while mulling the deathbed confession of a parishioner from the tiny Irish village of Roonatellin. The good priest is frantic to know why Kevin Dennehy refused to the end to marry Enda, who lived as his wife for decades with none suspecting their sin. When pressed, Kevin would only say, "there's some explanations that get you nowhere." That leaves it to Enda, an Irish Scheherazade, to breathlessly tell Father "the all of it," a wild, eyebrow-raising tale that meanders like sheep on the narrow roads. Her enthusiasm and Jeannette Haien's musical, evocative phrasing sweep this winning, humorous novel along.

From the Back Cover:

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".

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