The Mrs. Browne trilogy became an instant bestselling success in author Brendan O'Carroll's native Ireland. Similarly, when Plume introduced The Mammy (the first book in the series, May 1999) in the United States, it was greeted with overwhelming enthusiasm from American readers. Fans of Agnes Browne craving further hilarious and heartwarming adventures will be delighted with The Chisellers. Agnes, the lovable and determined heroine, returns with her seven children--whom she affectionately calls "the chisellers"--all struggling to make their way in the world with varying degrees of success. To make matters more difficult, as Agnes struggles along the bumpy road of parenting, she learns that the family is about to be forced out of their tenement home in the name of urban renewal. Pierre, Agnes' persistent suitor, is thankfully on hand to console her. Like all good Irish stories, The Chisellers includes a wedding and a funeral, much laughter and some tears--and it is sure to please newcomers as well as loyal fans of this terrific series.
By turns funny, wise and heartbreaking, this Irish Tales of the City is O'Carroll's second book in his Mrs. Browne trilogy; the first, The Mammy, received high praise after publication in the U.S. last year. Featuring eccentric characters who are charming, irreverent and believable, the story continues in 1973 with Agnes Browne at center stage. A widow raising six sons and a daughter, whom she refers to collectively as the "chisellers," she lives in public housing in inner-city Dublin. Agnes is no angel, which makes her all the more human; she chain-smokes, likes a pint or two of an evening and has a sweet-dispositioned boyfriend, a French immigrant named Pierre, who works at a pizza joint and is endlessly patient with Agnes and her rambunctious brood. Mark Browne is the oldest; at 17, he is apprenticed to a furniture-maker whose business is failing. How Mark saves the business and wins the girl of his dreams inform the main storyline, but each of the siblings and Agnes get their fair share of attention. Frankie, the next in age, is involved with violent local skinheads. After he and his gang brutally beat his younger brother, Rory, a subsequent act further tarnishes Frankie's reputation and outrages his family. This lively novel features a wedding, a funeral and an ending that will melt the hardest heart. Readers will eagerly await the third book in this series. (Mar.) FYI: The film version of The Mammy, starring Anjelica Huston, is currently in release.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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February 27, 2000
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