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452 pages, Paperback
First published September 5, 1996
In the beginning, Francis (Frank) McCourt's family story starts out so desperate, you think it can't get any worse, BUT....IT....DOES!
Frankie had a very short and dreadful childhood in Limerick, Ireland. Even at age four with only the clothes (rags) on his back, he had adult responsibilities caring for his twin baby brothers, changing and washing dirty diapers by hand (with no coal to heat the water), taking them to the park (ordered to keep them away until dark) and trying desperately to entertain them so they will stop crying.......of starvation! With no sheets or blankets on the lice and flea-ridden mattress plus the sewage that often overflowed into the kitchen, it is a wonder that any of Angela's six? (I lost count) children survived. I think if I would have had to read one more episode about daddy picking up his dole money at the Labor Exchange on Friday and proceeding to drink it ALL away AGAIN I truly would have thrown this book across the room!!! (and I dearly love my books), but thankfully this non-fiction nightmare came to an end...at least for me.
Frank McCourt lived until the age of 78 and does have a sequel to this novel, "TIS", that continues his life story in America for those interested. (The significance of the title "Angela's Ashes" was not what I thought it would be)