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Only Say the Word by Niall Williams

Only Say the Word

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This is a subtle, meditative and beautifully written book rich in emotion and the perfect read to leave you with a warm glow this winter. Jim Foley begins a love letter to his wife, hoping the words he writes will bring her closer to him. Retracing the journey of his life, from childhood in County Clare to early adulthood in America, and eventually back to Ireland again, this is a story of desire, of stolen books, missed moments and contemporary fatherhood. After half a lifetime of loss and grief, it is through the written word alone that Jim now places his trust so that love lost can be refound and restored. Only say the Word is a haunting, intimate testament to the enduring nature of love.

Comparison: Dermot Bolger, Jennifer Johnston, Simon Mawer.
Similar this month: None but try Marya Hornbacher or Francis Cottam.

If you like Niall Williams you might also like to read books by Simon Mawer, Dermot Bolger and Jennifer Johnston.


Only Say the Word by Niall Williams

Jim Foley loves his parents, his brother, his sister, Dickens and God; later, he loves Kate -- enough to make her his wife and to shape his life around her -- and later still, he loves his children, Jack and Hannah. This is Jim's story, from his early days in County Clare to early adulthood in America, and then back to Clare again. From happy-ever-after to death-do-us-part; from beginnings to endings to fresh starts; from child, to husband to father, it is the story of the people and places in Jim's life; the story of his hopes, his fears and fantasies, his ever-evolving relationships and the books that remain always constant, even while his family and future are uncertain. Deeply personal and written in Niall William's lyrical, lilting prose, Only Say the Word is both a love letter and a story about love, in its many forms and guises.

About the Author

Niall Williams

Niall Williams was born in 1958 and lives in Kiltumper, Ireland, with his wife Christine and their two children. he is the author of a number of novels including Four Letters of Love, which was sold in over twenty countries and an international bestseller.

Photograph: Liam Burke of Press 22

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Book Info

Publication date

6th January 2006


Niall Williams

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Pan Macmillan




Family Drama
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites



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