An autobiographical novel set in 1960s Ireland, this irresistible story follows the rise and fall of the O’Feeney family, seen through the eyes of a precocious little girl.
More savage than civilized, Noleen is a rare character from a Dublin long forgotten, where Nelson’s Pillar still stands in O’Connell Street - but not for long - and where untamed musicians gather in the O’Feeneys’ kitchen to raise a jar and the roof. Noleen’s father, a successful actor and scoundrel king of the city, does his best to destroy his family, while her mother tries to save it. Noleen schemes to make it through each Dublin day, cadging sweets and growing tough in the midst of chaos. In the end, however, nothing - not even a fierce girl’s powerful imagination - can hold the family together and keep them, safe as geese in the sky, in their home on Tolka Row.
Smarty Girl is a wild child’s journey through a world alternately tender and brutal, humorous and heartbreaking, told in language as musical and vibrant as Dublin itself.
Honor Molloy’s mother, Yvonne, is an American theater director who sailed to Ireland in 1953 to study in Trinity College. Her father, John, was a seventh generation Dubliner and a local legend for his work on stage, in films, and on television. Dedicated to capturing and preserving the Dublin vernacular, they worked together for 15 years producing plays, radio, television shows… and six children. The life they led together - and the reasons that life had to end - provides the inspiration for their Smarty Girl.
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Smart, haunting and beautiful
Atmospheric and compelling!
A glimpse in the complicated relationships of a theatrical family in 1960s Dublin. And exploration and dissection of the fracturing of a family.
Noleen, the spunky, irrepressible Noleen
love the name
wonderful use of different narrators to signal change of perspective which allow Molloy (the author) to maintain her childish voice and perspective. The author's mother reads the sections that pertain to herself.