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.
Comments from BDS Reviewers
"It's a clever book - Noelle traces how she becomes her mother (figuratively), until finally she is able to claim being a daughter of her mother."
"It was interesting to read Noelle's eventual understanding of herself and her mother, and finding some peace with both.
"I thought the author was quite harsh and unforgiving towards her mother whose own life had been difficult."
"It was interesting that Noelle admitted in her afterword, that her siblings' relationships with their mother was quite different to her own."
"I think women would enjoy this more than men as it's a mother-daughter relationship."
"There are quite a few 'f" words."
"I enjoyed reading about the culture in which Noelle grew up - namely a poor Catholic Irish family."