81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
A Perfect Fourth,
This review is from: The Young WAN (Hardcover)
"The Young Wan", is the 4th book published by Brendan O'Carroll that chronicles the life, friends and family of Agnes Brown, although it is now the first when placed in chronological order. The original three books formed a remarkable trilogy that could easily have stood on its own. The author took a risk by expanding the series to 4 but it was a gamble well chosen and readers are brilliantly rewarded. The remarkable woman who we met in the original series now has her story told and even that of her mother and a small bit of her grandparents. The result is a complete picture of a remarkable woman and the family she raised.
The book for me was he darkest of the four but that did not prevent it from at times causing the most pleasurable discomfort from laughter after it brought tears from the words of a devoted son, and sorrow from the brutality, stupidity and pure meanness that only humans practice. If you think you have read of all the cruelty a parent can inflict on a child read Agnes's story. If you think there is a finite depth that a parent can sink to in abuse of their own, read this story, for Dante never created a level so low. That these parents I refer to would seek shelter in an Apartheid state after committing what can only be termed mass murder, is an appropriate locale for those who judged their own child so cruelly.
This book and the four part series it is a portion of is some of the best reading I have ever done, no time I have spent with a book has been more satisfactorily used. The brutal parts of this tale should in no sense put you off from this book and the three that follow, for the series is about the triumph of the human will no matter what it faced, no matter how familiar the face may have been that inflicted such pain. It is a story of a woman that literally handed her dream to a sibling, a woman who never thought of quitting much less did.
This is a remarkable collection by a gifted man who loved his mother enough to tell her story.