I remember reading Angela’s Ashes as a child, and it being incredibly sad. This guest post about the book has really jogged my memory. I wonder how many other books I have read and completely forgotten about?
Limerick is the setting for Frank McCourt’s bestseller Angela’s Ashes. The book, written in 1996, is the memoir of Frank McCourt himself, telling the story of his childhood in Limerick. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1930, Frank, his parents and younger siblings moved back to Limerick following the death of his little sister Margaret at just seven weeks old in 1935 for a fresh start. Unfortunately for them it didn’t go too well and two further siblings died within a year of arriving.
The book describes 1930’s and 1940’s Limerick in exceptional detail. With an alcoholic father unable to keep a job and living in squalid conditions, Frank soon became the man of the house and, through scrimping and saving throughout his childhood, he managed to save enough for a ticket back to America when he was just 19 years old.
You can print a tour map of Limerick, which is perfect for fans of the book, following the course of the story itself. Starting at the railway station and meandering through the roads mentioned in the book and brought to life by the film of the same name, you’re transported back to the era in which it was written. You’ll see the houses from outside which young Frank stole a box of groceries when his mother was ill, one of the pubs his father frequented and the district in which he spent much of his childhood.
It’s a fantastic and very different perspective from which to explore the city, allowing you to see the sights while being transported to another era. You really can imagine Frank and his brothers running along the alleyways, following the coal carts trying to collect a few pieces for themselves and racing down the lanes on his post office bike. Book a stay at a Travelodge here in Limerick and discover the old stomping ground of Frank McCourt for yourself.