An Anglo-Irish childhood lived in latter-day Victorian society is evoked in this dryly humorous, silkily literary memoir. Davis-Goff ( Night Tennis ) takes us into the upper-class country houses of Waterford in southern Ireland--Glenville, Ballinacourt. Despite the stuffy Protestant ambience, she reveled in Ireland's ``benevolence of nature,'' eloquently recalled in passages that take the reader into the glorious abundance behind walled gardens. But similar largesse, emotional or financial, was not available within families. ``The Anglo-Irish that I knew--the ones who had survived--played out their lives rather like punters at a roulette table betting with the minimum stake.'' Such perceptions of wilting gentry, of country people with opposing values as well as conflicting loyalties and unvoiced pain, are the material of Davis-Goff's rueful, wise recollections. Photos not seen by PW. BOMC alternate. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989 Release date: 09/01/1989 Genre: Nonfiction
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