audiobook (Unabridged)

By John McGahern

cover image of Memoir
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This is the story of John McGahern's childhood; of his mother's death, his father's anger and bafflement, and his own discovery of literature and his ambition to become a writer. At the heart of the book is an unembarrassed homage by a loving son to a woman who protected him and his sisters from his father's unpredictable moods. His memory of walks with her in the lanes near their rural home, of her naming flowers for him and of his joy in her presence, is recovered with great lyrical tact. The account of her courageous endurance of illness - with almost no support from her policeman husband, who was living in his barracks - is unsentimental and unforgettable. The memoir is also a great portrait of Ireland in the 1940s and 50s, a time of frugal comfort but also of low expectation and depression for many people in a country that seemed to have no future.