THE VILLAGE by Alice Taylor


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 Taylor's third volume of Irish reminiscences (Quench the Lamp, 1991; To School Through the Fields, 1990) continues in a sunny vein as it evokes the history, landscape, and sometimes dotty citizenry of tiny 1960's Innishannon, where the author raised five kids, opened a guest house, and manned the local post office and grocery store. When Taylor, then an energetic young switchboard operator in Brandon, married the orphaned nephew of a pair of shopkeepers and moved with him to his hometown of Innishannon in County Cork, the locals greeted the bride with a joke and a smile but remarked among themselves that she might turn out to be a tad too flighty for village life. Set on the wooded banks of the Brandon River, Innishannon had once served the grand estates of wealthy British and Irish families, but 20th-century uprisings and industrialization had rendered it a small, sleepy hamlet whose residents knew every detail of each others' lives. To the villagers' relief, Alice proved more dependable than she at first seemed--helping out in the shop until she and her husband were able to turn a large house on the main street into a successful inn; raising four sons and a daughter; tending to the elderly; dabbling in the arts; and, always, noting down the whimsical tales told in the shop, the post office, and the church by Innishannon's hard- working carpenters, priests, grandmothers, and children. The result is a portrait of a placid, charming, and remarkably isolated Irish town--certainly a different Ireland than the war-torn land farther north. Sentimental but entertainingly so: the story of a village well kept and a life well lived.

Pub Date: March 24th, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-08919-8
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1993


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