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The Mammy Audio Cassette – Audiobook, 1 Sep 1996
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|Audio Cassette, Audiobook, 1 Sep 1996||
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The story has no substance, and the characters no depth. Marion is diagnosed and dead within a couple of chapters, not that I wanted long drawn out misery, but I would have liked a bit more exploration of how the two women dealt with her diagnosis and illness.
I gave up on this book a few chapters from the end as I couldn't stand any more of it. I give it one star for its lovely cover and nothing else.
Agnes Browne (With an e, unlike the TV show) is a loud, funny (though often not intentionally) and caring (in her own way, at least) Irish mother of seven children, struggling but trying her best to get through life after the death of her husband and a loss of income. To be honest, I couldn't tell you what a Northern Dublin neighbourhood would've been like in the 1960's, but it's the place and time period portrayed in this book and it seemed quite realistic. I have been to Dublin a couple of times and it was great to see a lot of popular places referenced - anybody who has been will recognise some of the mentioned locations. I thought that the atmosphere and the working-class struggle of Dublin was very well described and I really got into the setting.
Mrs Brown's Boys, as I've said, is a comedy and it is guaranteed to make me laugh out loud (often for quite a while afterwards, too!) every time. I was worried that the book wouldn't be as humorous after seeing it acted out, but oh, how wrong was I! I absolutely loved the humour in this book and was laughing nearly throughout each page. I instantly warmed to Agnes Browne and found her absolutely hilarious. Her connection with the other characters was fantastic. I really enjoyed reading about Agnes and her best friend Marion, their relationship was especially touching. Although the book was, for the most part, amusing, it also touched on some rather sensitive subjects, including love and loss. There was a real sense of community as everyone helped each other and even though times were difficult, good relationships and positivity helped to get them through.
I really commend O'Carroll for executing this book so well. This was a very quick read as it was a short book at less than 180 pages, but it felt as though the author packed a lot in during that space. Without being overly descriptive, a very vivid scene was set and the personality of each character shone from the pages. I still have the next books, The Chisellers and The Granny to read and frankly, I can't wait! This is definitely a book that I'll keep hold of and can already see myself wanting to revisit it in the future!
Who is Mammy? She is Agnes Browne who is recently widowed in trying to bring up her children all seven of them. Mark, Francis, Simon and Dermot, Rory, Trevor and Cathy. In fact she is keen for the Social Welfare to make sure that she is entitled to all that she can get even if her husband had only died in the morning of the initial claim!
The humour of family life is apparent in this novel and you share the life of trying to survive, making sure the children are clothed, fed, educated and safe. Then there is her friendship with Marion, the possibility of a new romance with a Frenchman who has some rather French ideas of kissing and the driving lessons. All done with and a heartfelt honesty that you probably don't find in some other tales of families.
An excellent gift for someone who likes watching Mrs Brown's Boys or a good honest tale about a not so honest Irish family!
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