Only Say the Word

Only Say The Word

Only Say the Word

In a cottage in County Clare, Jim Foley sits before a white screen and begins a love letter to his wife, hoping the words he writes will bring her closer to him. It is the autumn of two thousand and one. In the upstairs rooms of the cottage, his children, Jack and Hannah, are asleep.

Retracing the journey of Jim’s life, from childhood in County Clare to young adulthood in America, this is a story of desire, of stolen books, missed moments and contemporary fatherhood. After half a lifetime of grief, it is in language alone that Jim now places his trust; through the written word he imagines he can express all that has been unsaid in his life, so that love lost can be re-found and restored


"A strong, simple tale which takes the ingredients of tragedy and turns them into something life-affirming"

"Reading Niall Williams makes you want to cuddle in front of a fire, holding on to a loved one so tightly you might never let them go. Williams writes superlatively about love and loss"

"Only Say the Word is a book about acceptance of the past and about an attempt to move towards a fragile, redemptive peace. It is heart-rending and unforgettable."

"For Jim, words are a kind of redemption – and nobody reading this subtle, meditative and beautifully written book will be inclined to disagree"

"Niall Williams has written a wonderful book, uplifting and hopeful. Give it to everyone…"



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