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An Irish Country Christmas
     

An Irish Country Christmas

by Alice Taylor
 
Beloved by readers for her warmly remembered tales of Irish childhood, Taylor now returns to reacquaint us with the joyful glow of a childs Yuletide celebration. She conveys the delight that lies in every detail of the festive season for a young child. Her Irish countryside is like an archetype of everyones ideal Christmas landscape: a world where the season came

Overview

Beloved by readers for her warmly remembered tales of Irish childhood, Taylor now returns to reacquaint us with the joyful glow of a childs Yuletide celebration. She conveys the delight that lies in every detail of the festive season for a young child. Her Irish countryside is like an archetype of everyones ideal Christmas landscape: a world where the season came with holly bundles & real geese to capture for the holiday dinner. Most of all, her storytelling reminds us of the unsentimental, wondrous innocence of youth, where every snow-dusted corner holds a surprise, & the lighting of the Christmas candle marks the commencement of magic. Illus.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Taylor (To School Through the Fields) has written a memoir of a County Kerry Christmas as seen through her own nine-year-old eyes. First there is the fattening of the pet-like geese. Their execution and plucking follows. Then the countdown to Christmas begins: waiting for the ``master'' to let the children know when the school holiday is to begin; the letters to Santa; the preparation of the Christmas chimney for Santa by the sweep, Black Ned; the hunt for holly; the housing of the farm animals for the winter; and the house cleanup in readiness for the big day. Finally, Christmas arrives with mass and a ``Happy Birthday'' to the infant Jesus. The holiday ends with the hunt for the wren-bird one day later on St. Stephen's Day. With liberal sprinkling of the Irish language, neighbor Mrs. Casey's tales of supernatural Christmases past and the family's thought of soft barm bracks, Taylor has written a tender remembrance of a simpler, yet harder, time past. (Oct.)
Patricia Monaghan
This is a perfect matching of subject and author, for what time of the year evokes more wistful nostalgia than Christmas, and who is more skillful at evoking childhood's innocent sensuality, the basis of that nostalgia? Taylor's charm-drenched memoir never, despite its sugarplumminess, cloys or becomes saccharine. Its chapters are like late-Victorian holiday cards, festive and cheerful and replete with natural symbols. We meet the Christmas geese, before and after plucking (the actual foul play takes place offstage, in the basement, where Mom handles the butchery). Silent, skinny Black Ned comes to sweep the chimney, precipitating an orgy of house cleaning and decorating. The family traipses through the blackthorn hedges to find the perfect branches. Mail from far-off America arrives, sometimes bearing curious presents. The family gathers around the sweet turf fire, raises glasses, and cheers in the New Year. These are holidays as everyone wishes they could remember them.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312135232
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
09/28/1995
Edition description:
First United States Edition
Pages:
134
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.73(d)

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