27 Following

Reader! Reader!

Literary fiction, classics, dystopian, history, memoir, prize winners, and of course the 1001 books. You really might catch me reading anything!

Currently reading

Empire of Cotton: A Global History
Sven Beckert
Progress: 220/656 pages

The Charwoman's Daughter (Mary, Mary)


An unusual little book. A story of Dublin, it starts off being almost twee. I'm not 100% clear why this book is in the 1001 Books, but I have not read a lot of Irish lit, and certainly not of urban Irish lit. Per the text in 1001 Books, this is an unusual book about Dublin--it is female, it is poor, it is claustrophobic.

Teen Mary Makebelieve (really) lives with her charwoman mother in one room in a Dublin boardinghouse. While her mother goes out to work every day, Mary wanders the city, observing. She makes their meals and cleans their room, but does her first paying job when her mother is very ill (and she takes her place). A story of the poor in Dublin, who window shop for entertainment and pawn what they own when they are broke. Neighbors can be trusted to help out in times of need.  Perhaps, even dreams can come true—if you let them.

A very quick read.