Taras Halls

Taras Halls Life On A Farm In The West Of Ireland In The 1950s And 60s Is Anything But Easy Marked By Scarcity And Hardship, Most Families Have A Hard Time Simply Keeping A Roof Over Their Heads And Food In The Mouths Of Their Ever Expanding Broods Of Children Though At Age Fourteen And Still Technically A Boy, Young Tom Gallagher Already Does The Work Of An Adult His Father Works In England Most Of The Year, Returning Each Spring For A Few Weeks To Cut The Year S Supply Of Fuel And Plant The Crops When His Father Stops Coming, Brother Eamon, At Sixteen, Becomes Man Of The House When Eamon Bails Out To England, Tom, At Fourteen, Steps Into His Brother S Larger Shoes And Assumes The Responsibility For Completing The Heavy Tasks Of Farming With Little Mechanization And Impossible Without The Help Of His Mother And Sisters.In This Engaging Memoir About Growing Up In Hard Times, Gallagher Weaves The Story Of His Own Hardscrabble Childhood Through The Larger Cultural And Historical Contexts Of The Time, Crafting A Fascinating Look At One Young Boy S Life And The World In Which He Lived.Never Resorting To Self Pity Or Sentimentalism, Gallagher Tells His Tale In The Great Traditions Of Irish Storytellers, Mixing Plenty Of Wit, Humor, And Irony With The Gritty Realities Of His Experience And The Result Is Mesmerizing. Tara s Halls is written as an autobiography of the author, Tom Gallagher s, youth and growing up in Ireland Through the pages of this book you are introduced to all of the hard work the poor families had to go through each year to survive and how the weather and outside forces could destroy everything, a young person s early schooling and, also, the interaction of Tom with his friends, the residents of the town and his time in the pre military Also interspersed is the history of Ireland, the battles to claim their independence from England and how, to advance in life, the youth, when becoming of age, left home to work in England or immigrated to America Tom s dream was to immigrate to America as his sister did, even though he knew it left his mother and his 3 sisters, who were still home, in dire straits Tom Gallagher is my age and the comparison of my youth and growing up as compared to that of a child in Ireland during
Tara s Halls is the story of a boy growing up poor in Ireland Let s face it no one ever wrote a memoir about growing up rich in Ireland Though the theme is worn, I am a fan of great memoirs, and Tom Gallagher does not disappoint This is not all turf cutting and potato digging It is simply the story of an imaginative and mischievous boy growing up, and delightfully written Because he grew up in the Irish countryside, his tale is colored by experiences unique to Ireland, including the lingering effects of rebellion and civil war The politics and hard economic realities are expertly woven into his recollection of events in his life the young child seeking treasure in haunted knolls, fathers working most of the year in England, the first loves, ridiculous teenage pranks, the struggle to stay in school vs work on the farm, and always, the hope to emigrate to America.An unexpected gift for me in this book is the Irish perspective on American politics and world events in the 50s and 60s The Irish were enchanted with President Kennedy and devastated by his assassination perhaps even so than Americans were The Cold War and the threat of communism permeated their activities and education, much as it was in America and elsewhere in the world I also appreciate the back stories of the Irish civil war and reverence for the heroes of the rebellion.Gallagh
This was an amazing memoir by Mr Gallagher regarding his childhood and growing up in Ireland Although, we are given a glimpse into his life post emigration, this memoir is mainly focused on his life in Ireland Mr Gallagher authenticates his work by utilizing his native tongue and dialect Please do not let this aspect hinder you from indulging in his amazing life journey, as the author provides a glossary at the end The way in which these words are written, it definitely pulls the reader into his personal life in a most vivid way You feel as if you have been transported to beautiful Ireland Don t let the scenery fool you though, life is full of imperfections among the beauty Growing up in Ireland was no easy task Families were large and broken apart due to poverty The men would emigrate to England or America for work to send money back home, and upon returning home for a short season would procreate to enlarge the family Many of these families were farming families and each person had specific jobs to complete Schooling was minimal due to the amount of help needed on the farm My heart ached when Mr Gallagher depicted his loss of his pet pig, Polly Unable to keep her as a pet, every bit of Polly was utilized to sustain the family during these hard times There is much heartache among these pages but also a strength and courage that is difficult to explain There is so much that a reader will obtain from
I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for a fair review.This book is a good example of the lost art of storytelling at its best, and one to be savored reading slowly while reliving the events and getting to know the characters in the book While narrating his childhood in Ireland from 1947 1965 vividly and in an articulate way, the author manages to describe the level of poverty that would break your heart in a bright and a hopeful tone I was amazed how detailed the book and how talented the author are, but it was hard for me to read some parts of the book such as killing the family pet pig with a hammer, so the family would have something to eat, or drowning the old family dogs since it was one less mouth to feed At the end, I couldn t help but to admire the strength of the author and his family members who not only survived such living conditions
A very well written memoir Inspiring and definitely a memorable book The Irish definitions in the back of the book was a great touch This is one book readers need to check out and add to their book collection.