Eve's Reviews > Angela's Ashes

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
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's review
Mar 08, 2011

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bookshelves: read-2011
Read from December 11, 2010 to March 08, 2011

McCourt lets the reader know before committing to this book, that you're in for a lyrical and depressing tale. What you don't anticipate is being transported to the wet, dirty lanes of Limerick and still being thoroughly amused. "When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood."

I had attempted to read this book about 4 times. I really couldn't get past McCourt's fast-paced sing-song. However, I've always believed that sometimes you may not be in the best place to appreciate a book. This accounts for the reason why I start and stop books on a dime. I prefer to leave it unread than finish it and completely miss the author's message.

McCourt's message, in my opinion? At face value, it may seem like an unemotional account of getting out of Ireland and leaving behind a sad childhood and memories. Upon further thought, I realized how Catholicism, guilt, and poverty were a central theme and inextricably related. With TB claiming the lives of countless people, including several of McCourt's siblings, an alcoholic father, and cruelty from neighbors and relatives, it's a wonder that McCourt could still make me laugh aloud with his cynical eye for detail. I was touched by his mother's heroic attempts to provide for her family. She did what she could, which is something to be said for a woman in 1930's Ireland. Also, I fell in love with each and every McCourt boy. They had such a deep, protective love for one another; it was never begrudging. It warmed my heart. I'll be sure to give the sequel 'Tis a read in the future.
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12/11/2010 page 11
02/14/2011 page 268
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