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Me And Mine [Paperback]

Anna May Mangan
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

16 Feb 2012
As soon as they'd saved up for the three 'S's' - shoes, suitcase and a suit - they left rural Ireland. It might have been the London of the 1950s where 'No Blacks, No Irish No Dogs' was the welcome put out for immigrants, but for the big family that was Anna May Mangan's, it was still better than the poverty they'd hailed from; 'Don't waste today worrying because tomorrow will be even worse' was their motto. But Ireland came with them in the dance halls, holy water and gossip and there was always the warmth of the Irish crowd, in and out of one another's houses 'as if there was no front door'.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (16 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844086739
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844086733
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Hilarious, tragic and hugely touching, Me and Mine will win over even the hardest of hearts ... A journey of love, laughter and loss ... A superb memoir' -- Sunday Express 'Captivating ... The joys and sorrows of a large working-class Irish emigrant family are amply and honestly covered ... Me and Mine is warm-hearted with many memorable characters' Guardian 'Mangan is a terrific writer ... it is so beautifully and delicately described that every word rings true ... very funny too' Irish Independent

Book Description

A wonderfully compelling and entertaining memoir about the experiences of a London Irish family. In the tradition of ANGELA'S ASHES.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking good read 8 July 2011
Format:Paperback
`Me and Mine' does what it says on the tin - it is a warm-hearted memoir of a family who, one by one, emigrated from rural Ireland to London in the 1950s. It was a time when landladies could, quite legally, advertise rooms to let with `NO DOGS, NO BLACKS, NO IRISH', yet still they came, swelling the building sites, pubs and dance-halls of London with their exuberance and zest for life.

Anna May Mangan paints a spot-on portrait of her family that perfectly captures the period. Her family members come to life through her witty writing and she doesn't pull her punches at all - she talks of her father's love of gardening and his petty thieving from his employers with equal affection and devastating honesty. This is no saccharine tale - life was tough for Irish immigrants, some of whom were barely literate, and the female members of her family had a particularly hard time of it. Not only did most of them marry feckless wastrels, but one by one they succumbed to cancer and neither Anna May nor her sister have been spared this particular genetic inheritance.

But if it was a malignant fairy who cursed the Mangan women with this cruel disease, two good fairies countered the curse by bestowing on them the gifts of humour and courage. It is these qualities that shine through the book and which, as much as the excellence of the writing, make it a cracking good read.

Highly recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant!!!! 8 May 2012
Format:Paperback
This book is laugh out loud funny and heartbreakingly poignant. The author, Anna May Mangan tells the story of her family, warts and all, in a frank, sympathetic and often hillarious way. I love her 'voice' and reading this book was like sitting down with a friend and having a natter. She tells us about her vast extended family in a way I recognise and love. This book is a little gem and I hope to see more by this author.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars me and mine 13 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback
Anna May Mangan's writing whisks you from one episode to another on a breathless journey through her family. I felt as if I was sitting in a room with the doors being constantly flung open as one after another, her finely drawn relatives in all their splendour and contrariness, stormed in demanding tea or whiskey.
She relates a world that is probably now lost of unlocked doors, money in the teapot, large families that would support each other even if they couldn't stand the sight of each other, casual but plentiful work and the magic of the dance hall.
Her skill is to make this real, not a caricature, and she achieves this through her acute observation, her warmth and her great command of form and structure, so we travel with these people who are, like all of us, extraordinary in their ordinariness.
Worth reading as a social document but more enjoyable as a great tale.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read 9 July 2011
By PJ Hull
Format:Paperback
`Me and Mine' really captures the laughter, fun and deep sadness experienced by an Irish immigrant family. I felt the writer, Anna May Mangan was having a conversation with me over a glass of wine and telling me her family's story. The writer totally engages the reader in the lives of these hardworking, often incredible funny but then tragic people. With great one liners and poignant descriptions of intimate and heart wrenching moments she takes you on a journey through the history of a family you will recognise and come to love , with all their imperfections. If could be the Irish equivalent of Shameless. The writer tells how her family survives hardship and tragedy and then flourishes down the generations through a combination of luck, love and great humour. A fantastic read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Me & Mine" is a totally brilliant read.... 4 July 2011
Format:Paperback
Keep your tissues close by when you read this book as I GUARANTEE you will have cried with laughter and sobbed because you are so moved by the time you reach the end. Annamay Mangan is a talented writer and has described a wonderful family with hope at their centre.

It felt like Anna May was confiding in me on every page - I read some chapters twice, they were so poignant and yet witty too. 'Me and Mine' is nevert schmaltzy - she describes herself and her relatives and some of them are far from perfect, but somehow you love them all, warts and all. She is an amazing writer because she wrings your heart out time and again. Please make this book into a film as it's so, so fabulous and the words danced across the page -some sections made cry like a banshee and others howl with laughter - from page one, I was hooked.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read. 13 July 2011
Format:Paperback
This is a beautifully written book that had me laughing and crying in turns. Anna May Mangan has portrayed her family members with insight and honesty. Even though the book is about an Irish immigrant family and I have no Irish connections I could still utterly relate to it. Sometimes it felt as though she was writing about me and mine rather than her and hers. I particulary enjoyed the exchanges between Nan and Grandma. It is interesting how the stories often move backwards and forwards in time giving it a fluidity. It struck me that this somehow mirrored the family members moving in and out of one another's homes and lives. The love the author feels for them is evident but she never becomes mawkish or over-sentimental. I would highly recommend this book; it is very entertaining and affecting. Although amongst the humorous stories there are many heart-breaking ones, I was left with a warm optimistic glow.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Reminiscing at its best
enjoyed every page I found myself both laughing and crying at the collection of memories, caught myself reminiscing about my extended family
Published 2 months ago by karen
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant... A must read for anyone with Irish parentage.
This was given to me by my old school friend and I laughed till I cried, it was like she knew my family. I have now brought several copies for friends and family.
Published 2 months ago by AMP Croydon
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I loved this book as brought back so many memories of my own childhood with Irish parents. You will experience many different emotions reading this book.
Published 3 months ago by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
MOVING AND GENUINE IN ITS HUMANITY BUT ALSO UPLIFTING AND HILARIOUSLY FUNNY IN DESCRIPTIONS OF EVERYDAY FAMILY LIFE. READ IN ONE SITTING
Published 3 months ago by bev fearn
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant.
Brilliant, extremely funny and I recognise a lot of the dynamics in my family too. Can't put it down. Don't want the book to end. I will read it again.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Comedy, drama, religion, contains everything.
So true to life, takes one back to the 1950's Thoroughly enjoyed this book, couldn't put it down. We didn't have an awful lot in comparison to the children of today but I do... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Duchess
5.0 out of 5 stars ME AND MINE BOOK
Have bought multiple copies of this book as presents for anyone with memories of Irish people coming to England in the 1950s, as my parents did. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ms Mary Scanlan
5.0 out of 5 stars Me and mine
A story to laugh and cry with COULD not put it down LOVED it best read for a long time
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming
This is my 2nd time reading this I was with the author the whole way she has a real eye for detail and I was laughing and crying as her story unfolded a great read
Published 6 months ago by deborah strain
4.0 out of 5 stars Streets were not paved with gold
This has been described as a heart warming story but the resilience, optimism and humour of the author should not hide the hardship and misery that many unskilled Irish immigrants... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Kilronan
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