Monday, May 26, 2014

Angela’s Ashes – A Memoir by Frank McCourt

Angela's Ashes - A Memoir by Frank McCourt

“You have to study and learn so that you can make up your own mind about history and everything else but you can’t make up an empty mind. Stock your mind, stock your mind. It is your house of treasure that no one in the world can interfere with it.

If you won the Irish Sweepstakes and brought a house that needed furniture, would you fill it with bits and pieces of rubbish? Your mind is your house and if you feel it with rubbish from the cinemas, it will rot in your head. 

You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.”
 - Angela's Ashes p. 208

I have finally finished reading it last night. I’d been slowly reading it, enjoying words by words, imagining its situation moment by moment. I read as if I didn’t want the story to end. I was just engrossed by it.  It’s a 1996 memoir written by Irish author, Frank McCourt, the first memoir book that I ever read in my life.

If you read my previous blog post, March Book Photo Challenge by Overcome Life,  the book came under list no. 21, as the book that I would avoid to read. Hehe… Why? Because I thought it would be an old classic story book that would be very hard to digest, just like the Human Bondage (I read first few page of Human Bondage and gave up reading it right away). But then, I was curious what kind of story it was written there, what kind of life that he’d gone through, what kind of poverty and impoverished life that Frank McCourt went through until my friends loved reading this book so much (When I posted this book on my Facebook, many had commented that it was a wonderful book, what a great choice, one of my favorites, and so on). Therefore, I challenged myself into reading it, started reading it beginning of this month.

I was wondering how Frank McCourt was able to retell his childhood story in vivid details, in sequence from the time he was born until he was reaching 19. Being born in Brooklyn, US, spending most of his early life in Limerick, Ireland, he had faced struggles and difficulties since he was very young. The innocent thought that he described and his thinking as the pious Catholic religious believer made the story so natural and amusing at the same time.

Since his father, the drunkard Malachy who always finished his wage money at once inside the pub, went to England to work and only so far sent money once to the family, Frank had always wanted to earn money on his own and started to work since he was only thirteen years old helping his neighbor delivering coal and then a year later working as a messenger delivery boy. He was very bright in study though and liked reading very much. He was able to use his reading and writing ability to earn some additional money so that he could fulfill his dream to go back to US, for a better future.

The story had not ended yet. The journey continued, which could be found at the next sequel, ‘Tis. Hope I could find that book in the library and see what would come next.

"He tells me God forgives me and I must forgive myself, that God loves me and I must love myself for only when you love God in yourself can you love all God's creatures" - Angela's Ashes p. 343


Rekha Monger said...

Finally you finished reading it. Yay! It's one of my favorite classic.

Glad that you enjoyed it.Frank McCourt's memories as a pious catholic is hilarious.

Rima Reyka said...

Hehe... Yes, I finally finished reading it :) In fact it's easy to read and yes, hilarious too ^^

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