4 Jun 2013



May container spoilers, hi-light if you wish.

Agnes Browne is a formidable woman. By day she sells fruit and vegetables from a stall in Dublin's bustling Moore Street.By night, she is wife to Redser Browne and mammy, nurse, teacher and psychiatrist to her unruly brood of seven children.

Then Redser dies.

How Agnes copes with widowhood, with the help of her best pal Marion, an unquenchable sense of humour and the attentions of the amorous Pierre, makes this memorable and moving account of one woman's life and of inner city Dublin in the late 60's.

..... Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1: 29 March 1967 - Dublin): Like all government buildings, the interior of the public waiting room in the Department of Social Welfare was drab and uninviting.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 93): "How do you plead, woman?" the Justice snapped.
"Well, I kinda' squash me face up like this ...." Agnes squashed up her face and turned the sides of her mouth downwards, "... and I say ah go on, please .... go on."

MY THOUGHTS: The inspiration behind the tv series MRS BROWNE'S BOYS though those of you who are familiar with the concept should be warned that though this, the first book in a trilogy, feels familiar, indeed some of the scenes (The 'Organism') even made it to the tv version, it isn't exactly the Mrs Browne that you know and (possibly) love. And as for those not familiar, read The Mammy and enjoy.

On the whole a truly humorous read that I felt captured the essence of many a Dubliner without being full of Irish stereotypes. My only concern being that, translated into many different languages (10 I seem to recall), the humour might not be understood by all. Still, a tragicomedy that one minute will have you laughing tears of laughter, the next, tears of sadness, this is essentially a wonderfully warm book all about family and the deep abiding friendship between two women both of which of course are universal themes.

KEEP IT OR NOT?: A present from Husband dearest, The Mammy is definitely one for the shelves after it has been passed around various family and friends that is. 

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Brandi Kosiner said...

Glad it captured Dublin and the humor sounds well done.

Kelly said...

I was glad to see this review as it's a book I saw awhile back and considered getting. I may have to at some point now.

I didn't realize there was a TV show based on it. But then, as with movies, the books are usually always better.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I read this years ago (and then the rest of the series) and loved it. Laughed out loud a lot. Many people have borrowed it. I think it's out on loan right now! Glad you liked it.

Mama Zen said...

I bet that I would like this!

Alexia561 said...

I actually have this one on my shelf, but haven't read it yet. Sounds like something I'll enjoy!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I always find it interesting how humor does or doesn't translate even without the language barrier. I'd be curious if it does. :)

Literary Feline said...

This sounds like a delightful read. It appeals to the Irish side of me. :-) I haven't heard of the book or the television show. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

Nikki-ann said...

Quite a fan of Mrs Brown's Boys. Might give this a go! :)

Suko said...

I'm not familiar with Mrs. Browne's Boys, but this does sound like a book I'd also enjoy, due to the humor and the warmth. Excellent review!

Brian Joseph said...

I never saw the television show, but the book sounds very good. It is amazing how we get used to a characters in TV or film and then sometimes have uncanny feelings when we read the book.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I don't know the show, but I'm glad you liked this one! Sounds like your husband did well.

Gina R said...

Hmm...not certain it'd be one for my shelves but that memorable moment shared had be chuckling. ^_^

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

Great cover and the book sounds great! Since I haven't seen the show I can check this one out. :)