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Young Peter has a hilarious yet tender masculine perspective. You'll wish he had been your best friend or big brother. In recalling his childhood in Dublin from 1959 through 1970 Peter Sheridan shows his worthiness in carrying on the Irish traditional mastery of storytelling. At age 8 he proudly pedals his bike through Dublin streets on his Da's errands and willingly risks his life to help install the antenna for the family's first TV. Sheridan describes his parents' struggles with a new-fangled, epileptic, washing machine like he's announcing a prize fight. Though his boyhood classroom is an ocean and away and 45 years ago you'll laugh and cringe in recognition. You'll watch a children's Gaelic football game that is shockingly all tragedy and no sport. When Peter reaches his teens, you'll experience his first exposure to the Beatles, his first awkward dates, first rebellion against Da, first band, first realization of his Ma's wisdom and sacrifice for the family, and his discovery of the joys of live theater. Through tragedy and loss of innocence, a sensitive, creative, kind young boy grows in to a man with his compassion, humor and love of family in tact. Author uses a dash before quoted words to indicate quotes in dialogue instead of quotation marks or apostrophies. Adult language is occasionally used in dialogue.
A family secret, a sacrifice for love, a dying mother, a search for the truth: the ingredients of 47 Roses suggest a compelling novel. But for Peter Sheridan, these are not the elements of fiction-they are the ingredients of his own life. In 47 Roses, Sheridan tells the moving and sometimes shocking story of "the other woman" in his parents' lives. Upon his father's sudden death in Dublin, Sheridan finds out about his father's almost fifty-year relationship with Doris, an Englishwoman who was both less and far more than a mistress. Sheridan elegantly describes his search for the truth in the face of resistance from his mother, who falls fatally ill. He eventually meets Doris and learns that she never married, living only for her brief meetings with Sheridan's father. This beautifully written portrait of a marriage forces us, like Sheridan himself, to face truths of the heart that refuse to conform to the easy verities of convention.
The sisters at the Good Shepherd Convent in Dublin's North Wall don't quite know what to make of their newest refugee. Philo announces herself at their door one Sunday evening with the words, "God pointed me here." A large presence, weighing 240 pounds and bearing tattoos on her arm, Philo smokes, swears, and loves to eat. She is also a mother of five and in flight from her abusive husband, Tommo. In no time at all, Philo has made herself indispensable. At the senior Daycare Center, she gets the old folks talking to one another, singing old favorites, and playing bingo again. And with all the love she's got to give, it's only natural that she helps Cap and Dina-two people at the Center long separated by a bitter feud-come together again. By turns comical and tender, Peter Sheridan's novel is a beautifully written portrait of an unforgettable woman who touches everyone she meets through the sheer force of being herself.
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