Archived Messages - Aug 2013    

Book Review

"What a lovely, and exceptionally well-written, memoir this is. I have much enjoyed the lively picture it provides of Dublin life in the early--mid twentieth century: the sights, smells, sounds (lots of song and laughter) all spring vividly to life. There are several beautifully observed passages on children playing, the natural world (birds and rats in particular), and the whole is suffused with the affection (which is never cloying) that the author feels for the vanished world of his childhood. There are no rose-tinted specs: the O'Connor family fielded its fair share of sadness and near-deprivation (although Sean never records it as such) but its members found strength in each other to overcome hardship and grief. This is the antithesis of the misery memoir in painting a refreshingly different picture of Christian Brothers' educational institutions and the Roman Catholic Church. Please send the author my many congratulations: I am sure that many readers will love his book -- the older ones for memories (and recognition) that it will prompt, the younger for a stellar and astonishing picture of a bygone age."

Hazel Orme


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