Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A book about Hope: Angela's Ashes



"The master says it's a glorious thing to die for the Faith and Dad says it's a glorious thing to die for Ireland and I wonder if there's anybody in the world who would like us to live." - Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes, p 138


The book is not so much about Angela, the Irish mother of Frankie McCourt, but more about the author's own story growing up in Limerick during World War II.  I really enjoyed reading this book.  Found it years ago at our local library.  It was being sold for 25 cents.  It took about two years for me to pick it up to read, and realized what a gem was gathering dust on my book case.

"Mam says, Wait a minute sir.  Can you tell me who cleans this lavatory?

"Cleans?  Ah, Jasus, that's a good one.  Cleans, she says.  Is it joking you are?  These houses were built in the time of Queen Victoria herself and if this lavatory was ever cleaned it must have been done in the middle of the night when no one was looking. " - p112



I've never seen the movie, which the book was based on.  But I heard the movie was depressing.  I never got that impression from reading the book.  And so I highly recommend reading it instead.   It is brilliant and funny.  As a young lad, Frankie was already displaying wit amidst innocence.  I've read some of the book reviews, and most of them say that it's about a painful Catholic childhood in Ireland.  I think that would be an aspect of it.  But pains depicted in the book always seem to resolve providentially.  If anything, I would call this a book on Hope, Resilience and Optimism. 
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