Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Irish Book Recommendation - Through Irish Eyes: A Visual Companion To Angela McCourt's Ireland

"Angela’s Ashes" is one of the greatest memoirs of our age, as author Frank McCourt recounts a childhood of poverty and pain in Limerick, Ireland, during the 1930s and 40s. Since its release in 1996, readers have longed to know this world better, and it is with the publication of "Through Irish Eyes: A Visual Companion to Angela McCourt’s Ireland," that they can see firsthand just how the other half lived.

Through a beautifully curated collection of archival photographs presented alongside detailed captions and literary quotes, "Through Irish Eyes" shows us a world that few who did not live it have ever known. Here we see the beautiful and rugged landscape of the countryside juxtaposed with the darkness of urban poverty in the city’s underside. We are shown a way of life that no longer exists, but is forever captured in these unsentimental images of the Irish way, its people and their struggles, and their small and hard-wrought joys.

With a foreword by Malachy McCourt, author of the acclaimed memoir "A Monk Swimming," we are given a rare glimpse into the warms hearts that beats in an often cruel and cold world.

This books of stunning photography from the early 1930s through post-World War II is a no-holds-barred look at the real side of Limerick, Ireland where author Frank McCourt and his siblings grew up, and inspired McCourt's brilliant novel, "Angela's Ashes."

Although the photos reveal a hard-side of living among the tentaments and dockside of Limerick, there are also portraits of the families who made their homes and livings as best they could. I was particularly drawn to the photos of the children - poor as they may have been, there is still those shy grins and bright eyes that showed they were still kids being kids, no matter what their situations.

Throughout the book are descriptions and snippets of life as observed by various authors on life in Ireland during this time period. This is not just a photography book, but a book that sheds light on a people and era that might have been otherwise forgotten.

My thanks to Glitterati, Inc. Books for providing the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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