Set in the 1930s and 1940s this book should be made compulsory reading - not just as a lesson for more privileged children (the usual eat all your vegetables, children in third world countries are starving sort of story) but for children to know what sheer grit and determination is to overcome all this.
The story of Angela married to drunk Michael and their numerous children. One by one the children die off - due to illnesses brought on by malnutrition and neglect and Frank as the eldest becomes the man of the family even at the age of ten where he knows exactly what is happening in the world around him. That a child has to be forced to grow up so soon, not to enjoy his childhood, even simple pleasures and then you have the contradictory condition of him enjoying his father's songs and stories despite knowing what kind of a man his father actually is.
You knew right at the beginning that Frank will overcome all the disadvantages thrown at him and somehow come up trumps but I did wish that it was not such a harrowing story to get there.
Am back from Rozella ready for the new week! have done lots of reading this last week. What I left behind....