In this book, Walter Nash has created an exceptional world of the past. He gently beckons us into the realm of his childhood, sharing a unique and vivid account of a pre-WW2 era that is rapidly becoming a fading memory. He magically brings his characters back to life, where they dance across the pages.
He invites us to meet his much loved parents; Harriet (his Mam) the strong, yet motherly, anchor of the home, and Walter senior, an extraordinary, ordinary man, who was the foundation and guide for young Walter's early education. It was his father who also cultivated his deep and abiding love of language and literature. We meet his sisters, and we're treated to the many hilarious antics of his zany aunts. In addition, we are introduced to a multitude of other street characters, ranging from the sagacious, to the `crackpot': descriptions that, I'm pleased to say, are not stifled by the politically correct euphemisms so often used in current times.
Walter's stories, sensitively recounted, are sprinkled with numerous poems, ditties and rhymes, many of which I remember from my own childhood - restoring a nostalgia long forgotten. Many of his insightful and compassionate recollections, about his early life and beliefs, resonate with his later spiritual nature.
This is a beautifully and eloquently crafted account of a childhood and social history, that captivates the reader with its skilful weaving of people and events, which, with the authors pervading sense of humour, leaves the reader longing for more. He taps into the emotions in a way that brings both joy and sadness, sometimes simultaneously. This book will stay with me and be revisited many times. I thoroughly recommend it.