Backwards: A Childhood Memoir
What do you call a cult leader who makes you hurt the one who loves you and love the one who hurts you? An Irish mother.And what do you call the devoted children of an Irish mother?Disowned.Ah, but this can't be my mother. My mother is so sweet, so cute, so TINY. Why, she's more like the Little People of her girlhood stories than some ominous Jim Jones figure...Isn't she?While this family history has all the elements of a sad childhood -- alcoholism, neglect, divorce -- the mother is so oddball-amusing, you scarcely notice the devastation of her children, even as they help to destroy their father. Unlike Frank McCourt's claim that there is no childhood more miserable than an poor Irish childhood, this is a chronicle of how true misery is more insidious. For it's when an Irish parent puts down the whiskey, and drags her children into her version of the American dream, that they will pine for the good old days when their mother was just a drunk and their daddy a happy deadbeat. BACKWARDS is a story of loyalty. And betrayal. Set in the innocent fifties and turbulent sixties, this childhood memoir traces an Irish war bride's pursuit of success. And when this poor country girl finally lands wealth and prestige, despite the hindrance of her backward children and their lazy father, surely that's a happy ending.Isn't it?
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