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Part authorial memoir and part historical reconstruction of the life of a Clarewoman born in 1890, the story is an engaging one. It is informed by the author's glimpse into the intriguing life of an old lady and her son, whom she got to kw as a social worker in West Clare in 1974/75. The trajectory of this woman's life was dramatic - from her birth in a remote cottage in the west of Ireland to the crowded streets of New York, where she emigrated aged barely seventeen, before returning to rural life in West Clare in her thirties. Her spartan upbringing left her ill-prepared for domestic service with the prosperous and sophisticated of New York, and the optimism which saw her return to a much changed Ireland faced many challenges. This is a moving and illuminating account of a life that encompassed ermous personal, cultural and historical change, including the first and second world wars, the 1916 Easter Rising and Ireland's war of independence as well as the civil war that followed.