Listening Still by Anne Griffin

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Thank you to Beatrice at St. Martin’s for offering Listening Still. I told her I absolutely adored Griffin’s debut, When All is Said, so reading her newest was going to be a definite yes from me. She said Listening Still was “different” and she was anxious to hear what I thought.

What I thought, or think, of Listening Still is that while it wasn’t as special as When All is Said, I still really very much enjoyed reading it!

As an aside, I have prattled on and on about reading PDFs (and my massive dislike for them), so I waited for the library’s book to arrive which meant waiting for the publication date to come along before I was able to read it.

While it is “different” than When All is Said, of course it would be, it didn’t take me long to fall into this story. It’s a story of obligations, filial duty, and of course speaking with the dead, with a little bit of a love story as well. While I don’t think anything can be as special as Griffin’s debut, Listening Still still had its special moments as well. While, I don’t think they were as fully realized as I felt they could have been, I can’t be complaining, I wouldn’t know how to write them myself now would I?

I was reading this one on the night my husband and I also watched the Academy Award winning movie, Coda. One, I cannot recommend this movie to you enough, but secondly, to watch it simultaneously as reading Listening Still? Now that was absolute perfection. Both bring together beautifully that story of obligation vs flying out and following your own dreams. (Coda does it with so much humour but it still had me crying through most of it too – which is a mark of a great movie for me!) While it takes Jeanie Masterson in Griffin’s novel a bit longer to fully put her own dreams before anything and everyone else, the journey taken with her was a lovely one. Her moments when she spoke and listened to the dead were lovely, there were times when I wished we had more of those moments to enjoy. I think because I link this book with the movie, it just made it all that more satisfying of a reading experience. But, it also solidifies that I will be reading anything Griffin publishes. I’m looking forward to book #3!