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Image / Editorial

Gift ideas: 5 books to give mum this Christmas

by Jennifer McShane
07th Dec 2019

Stuck for a gift idea for your mum this year? There’s something special about a carefully chosen book that says you put time and thought into a present that was right for her. Scroll for five picks.

When All Is Said By Anne Griffin (€11.99)

Eighty-four-year- old Maurice Hannigan sits at the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town, ready to raise a glass. Not just to give one toast, but five.

In a single night, he’ll tell his stories, all revolving around the people that meant the most to him: his elder brother Tony, who died of consumption at an early age; his stillborn daughter Molly; his sister-in-law Noreen, committed to an asylum; Maurice’s only surviving child, Kevin, who left to pursue a career in America; and his beloved wife Sadie, whose death is still raw. Stories of joy, sorrow, and secret tragedies – all told by quite a character. She’ll love it.

Pretty Iconic by Sali Hughes (€32)


This is still one I go back to; the writer’s exceptional personal take on a treasure trove of over 200 iconic products that are among the best in the beauty world.

Never Let Me Go (Hardcover) by Kazuo Ishiguro (€25)


Never Let Me Go is one of my all-time favourites. Set in a dystopian world, here human clones are created so that they can donate their organs as young adults. The novel follows the life story of Kathy, a clone who is raised at a boarding school for future ‘donors’ and her relationship with her two best friends Ruth and Tommy. To say much more would give away the narrative of this extraordinary novel but it very much echoes Ishiguro’s famous The Remains of the Day. It’s a beautiful read.

Paris: Fashion Flair by Marc-Antoine Coulon (approx €50)

Working for the biggest names in sewing and press around the world, the artist Marc-Antoine Coulon celebrates fashion and all-things Parisian in this glamorous tome, the first devoted to his work. Including portraits and sketches of parades, people and beloved Parisian places, this would make a perfect gift for those who adore the City of Lights.

Three Little Truths by Eithne Shortall (Corvus)

This story centres on three very different women: Martha, once always in charge, finds herself lost and lagging behind as she moves her family to Dublin but won’t tell anyone why; former It girl Robin back at home with her parents and four-year-old son; and Edie with a picture-perfect life – or so it would seem. Longing for a baby with her husband avoiding the subject, she needs a distraction and soon finds herself playing neighbourhood sleuth.

Meanwhile, Robin spends much of the time trying to avoid her ex and Martha still won’t talk about her mysterious move. So many secrets behind closed doors. It’s not long before they all come tumbling out. Everyone I recommended this to has loved it.

Main photograph: Unsplash