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O'Connell Boy: Educating "the Wolf Child": An Irish-American Memoir (1932-1950)

Overview

The O'Connell Boy: Educating The Wolf Child is a vivid coming-of-age memoir that tells graphically of the author's "wolf child" youth in a group home with five other boys from broken homes. The home is operated by a very strict "lace curtain" Irish Catholic widow who could have functioned as a U.S. Marine Corps drill sergeant. Mrs. White is a perfectionist disciplinarian with a middle class lifestyle in an extremely Irish Boston suburb.

After release from the group home at age ...

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Overview

The O'Connell Boy: Educating The Wolf Child is a vivid coming-of-age memoir that tells graphically of the author's "wolf child" youth in a group home with five other boys from broken homes. The home is operated by a very strict "lace curtain" Irish Catholic widow who could have functioned as a U.S. Marine Corps drill sergeant. Mrs. White is a perfectionist disciplinarian with a middle class lifestyle in an extremely Irish Boston suburb.

After release from the group home at age 14 he spends his high school years with lackadaisical Irish Granny O'Connell on "the other side of the tracks" next to a railroad station in the blighted section of another Boston suburb. In a caddie shack at a nearby golf course he is exposed to tales of sexual prowess and extreme initiation rituals. He experiences nearly unlimited freedom.

With wit and irony, O'Connell uses candid dialogue and descriptions to tell his unusual story of highly disciplined group home life and his later freedom to engage in an ongoing "battle of wits" with his aging grandmother.

This memoir delivers a trip back in time to the 1930s and 1940s, touches on an orphan's feelings of abandonment, and provides scenes of "growing up" that range from the outrageous to the sublime.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780962031861
  • Publisher: Sanctuary Unlimited
  • Publication date: 5/7/2010
  • Pages: 334
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Cape Cod journalist and lecturer Tom O'Connell is a health columnist for The Cape Codder and publisher of Sanctuary Unlimited books. His website is www.sanctuary777.com. Listed in Who's Who in the East, he was selected by Cape Cod Life magazine in its 25th Anniversary Issue as one of the "Top 100 Influential" people on Cape Cod.

He was national correspondent for The U.S. Journal of Drug & Alcohol Dependence and president, American Medical Writers Association, New England Chapter. He is a Cape Cod Writers' Center member, and teaches writing at Cape Cod Community College.

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