After years of periodic imprisonment in Ireland for their fight for independence, Maureen’s parents immigrated to Sydney, Australia with their large family in 1930. The patriarch, John O’Carroll, sets up in the storefront of their Balmain terrace house a barbershop, The Anchor Hairdressing Salon, which becomes a hub of activity for the locals. Maureen’s mother, May Gahan O’Carroll, an honored participant in the 1916 Irish Uprising, supplements the family’s income with her fortune-telling gifts. Reversing the letters of her last name, she calls herself “Madame Llarraco”.
Throughout this colorful memoir infused with Irish history, local politics, Catholicism and the humorous struggles of Depression-era life, music remains a vital theme. It is instrumental in the family rising above their hard circumstances to achieve a better life. Remarkably, all ten children were musicians.
This evocative memoir, written by the mother-daughter team of Maureen O’Carroll and Leora O’Carroll, is a beautiful, poignant and entertaining story of family, adaption and overcoming tough times to survive - and indeed thrive.
NY Times Best-Selling Author Jacqueline Sheehan on Goodreads:
"This is more than a charming Irish memoir. The voice of a spirited young girl sets the perfect tone to deliver Irish history, the determination of a family to make their way into another country, and the importance of music."
The Jamaica Gleaner:
"The duo’s commendable, uncluttered style carries the narrative easily along, as they choose specifically poignant details, which make for engaging read."