My covert book group and I are supposed to read Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt, so I thought this was a great week to get my assignment done. Here are my thoughts:
The critic who stated on the back of the book that this book was a joy to read was woefully mistaken. This was in no way a joy to read. The pain of losing sibling after sibling, sheer hunger to the point of starvation, hospitalization including almost complete isolation, and a descent into sin are not the things of joy. At least to this critic. Does this mean I did not like the book? No not really. Rather it means I was sobered and mostly saddened by McCourt's tale. I think there are incidents from this book that will haunt me for many years.
The only thing which provided much of the "comic relief" was the treatment the boy Frankie receives at the hands of the Catholic Church. This was an interesting insight into the Irish Catholic Church...eye opening. I found myself shocked at some of the things they believe and how sad it is that they have an entire series of generations who walked through life seeing only the greed and corruption of the one organization that should have been a source of help and hope for the needy.
I did find myself rooting for Frankie, who was different to the citizens of Limerick because he had an inate intelligence which would eventually carry him away from poverty. He was different than so much of Limerick, but he was so much the same. Making excuses for sin and seeking absolution from a sinful and greedy church. You could tell early on from the book that he was not long for Limerick.
Note to Drew: Should we do a rating system for the books we read?