DON'T WAKE ME AT DOYLES: A Memoir

Maura Murphy, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $24.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-312-33791-9

Murphy's skillful storytelling and optimistic spirit give even the grimmest moments of her difficult life story levity in this hopeful, spunky sister to Angela's Ashes . Born in 1928, "a delicate child with a peculiar shape... chronically ugly and cross as a briar," Murphy was the third of seven children in a rural family. With few work prospects in the "middle of Ireland's bog land," she moved to Dublin to become a housekeeper, and after a few years was raped by her boyfriend, got pregnant and saw no other choice but to marry him. Murphy soon learned that her husband, loving and hardworking when sober, became violent and abusive when he drank, which he did almost every night. And in what Murphy calls the Catholic tradition, his right to sex was never questioned. Over the next 10 years, Murphy gave birth to eight more children, until a prolapsed uterus forced her to have a hysterectomy. Murphy left and returned to her husband numerous times, suffered homelessness and depression, and fought to get her children a decent education. Yet she found happiness in pleasures great (interacting with her children) and small (playing bingo). She nearly died of lung cancer six years ago and refers to her struggles with the disease throughout this book. Her entire family kept diaries during her illness, and excerpts from their writings enrich this memoir with multiple viewpoints. Agent, Mary Pachnos. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/06/2004
Release date: 03/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 406 pages - 978-0-7553-1305-1
Paperback - 406 pages - 978-0-312-33792-6
Hardcover - 406 pages - 978-0-7553-1335-8
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4668-6154-1
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