When journalist Noelle McCarthy arrived in Auckland at the beginning of the new millennium, it was to be a new start - away from her difficult childhood in Ireland, and away from her mother Carol, a mercurial alcoholic. But it is never that easy, and thousands of kilometres away, she follows in her mother's footsteps, raising her glass to the world.
Years later, as Carol's life draws to a close, Noelle returns to Ireland and to a relationship that demands untangling, understanding and forgiveness.
Written with wit and skill, and with much introspection and honesty, this is the story of a mother and daughter, a memoir that reminds us of the love and pain within families and what we do to survive them.
Not inspiring, but relatable. Some loved it and gave it a 5, while others found it depressing, and that it jumped around a lot. We decided that it may depend on what was happening in your life at the time.
A disturbing and graphic account of a long struggle to break free from a damaging mother-daughter relationship.
Lots of discussion - about alcoholism , and how different a person/mother can be for her various children. Not a book to "enjoy".
A good discussion on mother/daughter relationships and the differing memories within families. Not always an easy read as the book tended to switch backwards and forwards between different years without warning. Often quite humorous.
A raw compelling read.
Mixed reviews from our group. Some found it frustrating and erratic and quite self indulgent. We did have a good discussion however. Some thought that Noelle was brave to share her closest secrets.