Mary Muriel Hall (nee Burns) was raised in a humble four-room house in Ennis, Ireland, in the 1940s. In this touching memoir, she vividly recalls her harrowing-yet often humorous-childhood. Muriel became familiar with adversity at an unusually young age. In this book, she remembers family life as a toddler with an abusive, alcoholic father and shares stories of a childhood marked by the tumultuous relationship of her mam and dad.
Muriel recalls with special fondness her grandfather, who becomes the lone beacon of hope in her increasingly turbulent life. She recounts the sudden death of her father, a loss that combined intense sadness with an odd sense of family relief. And she remembers the family move to England that allowed her to shed the negativity which surrounded her childhood and to look toward a brighter future. In all, this is a book that weaves together personal stories to reveal the rich tapestry that was an Irish woman's life.