An Irish memoir of post-war poverty and a mother’s love
In a dank Dublin tenement in 1942, Julie meets a stranger – her father. Like her severely ill sisters, her father is on the periphery of her early family life, whereas her ma is her bedrock – a feisty hard-working woman who single-handedly struggles to put food on the table and shoes on the feet of her large family, and does not suffer fools gladly.
Young Julie plays happily in the street with her siblings and cousins, dreaming of being a singer, unaware of many of her ma’s daily battles and ignorant of a better life, but as she grows into a young woman and sees her family go through poverty, illness and heart-breaking troubles, she understands the extent of her ma’s bravery.
On Charlotte’s Shoulders is a touching family portrait of the challenges of Irish family life in the 40s and 50s.