Angela's Ashes

by Frank McCourt

In Brief

Frank McCourt's compelling memoir of his "miserable Irish Catholic childhood," growing up in the slums of Limerick in the 1930s and 1940s. Tragedy is heaped upon tragedy, and Frank's alcoholic father finally abandons his destitute family. But he leaves Frank with a precious gift – the love of language, music and story-telling.

Why you should read it

The energy of Frank McCourt's story-telling, the sharpness of his observation, his soaring visual prose and wonderful sense of humour – often in desperately sad circumstances – make this a powerful account of the young republic’s underclass. Written from the perspective of a child, McCourt's sometimes naïve observations and misunderstandings are always credible and often hilarious in this unsentimental memoir.

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