My Ireland presents a factual and descriptive account of Ireland in the 1950s from the perspective of the author looking back on her early life in the country of her birth. Margaret’s captivating and charming story renders a nostalgic picture of Ireland independent of the inequalities and poverty that existed there at that time. Her story concentrates, instead, on rural life with its wonderful sense of community meitheal (an Irish word that describes how neighbors came together to assist in a range of tasks such as the harvesting of crops). To a lesser extent, the author addresses the deep cultural divide of class and money as experienced in religion, education and professional opportunities. The book is structured chronologically, from Margaret’s childhood to adolescence and from leaving home for Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, and later to emigration. Beginning with family, the description of her father’s passing is written from a child’s viewpoint.
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This leads to a narrative on her mother, a unique and forthright woman for her day. The story increases in momentum as Margaret goes to work in Dublin. The newness and wonders of the city take her on an exploratory journey through theatres, shops and the banter of the street traders. Throughout the book are special moments in nature and traditional Irish song and verse.
My Ireland is a historical and cultural walk down memory lane. It is more than a memoir. Rather, it is a loving and earnest conversation with Ireland’s rural past and its people.
About the Author:
Margaret Connor grew up on a small farm outside the town of Ballina in County Mayo. She left home as a teenager to work in Dublin in the hotel business. From there, she immigrated to the United States where she earned a B.A. from Harvard University followed by an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. This led to a career in Silicon Valley as a finance officer in the technology industry. Margaret currently lives in Greenwich, CT with close proximity to New York City for her cultural interests. She remains involved in her profession by consulting with early-stage ventures. Her curiosity about travels to distant lands continues.