I’ve read a number of autobiographies in my life but this is the first I’ve ever read which has made me laugh and made me want to cry in equal measures. Predominately set against the backdrop of Limerick in Republic of Ireland after Frank McCourt’s buck the trend of Irish immigrants settling in America by returning there and experiencing the grim poverty of the 1930’s and 1940’s.
In writing this book Frank McCourt manages to pull off the near-impossible and find humour in a life which saw his alcoholic father regularly spend all his money down the pub thereby forcing the rest of the family to beg, borrow and steal in order to survive.
As this is predominately Frank’s story he does focus on his siblings but the reader can clearly see how his life experiences shape him as a person and ultimately lead to him returning to America as a nineteen year old in a potential cliched bid to seek his fortune.
All in all, a throughly good read…