This book is basically a memoir of the childhood of Frank McCourt, an Irish-American teacher & author (now retired)
The following extract from the first chapter of this book beautifully sums up what is expected of it:
"When I look back at my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable chidhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.
People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years."
What makes this book so intruiging is the way McCourt has written it the way he saw things during his childhood. Everythin is seen through his eyes, from the woes to the unexpected truimphs. The frequent usage of poetry, black humour & Irish slang had me absolutely hooked