Many times as I was reading this book, I wanted to put it down. Angela's Ashes is not a happy story. In fact, the abject poverty, squalor, desperation and makes it downright depressing. But it is masterfully told. McCourt's first person writing style is real, genuine and so you feel along with the protagonist: abandonment, disappointment, shame, grief, anger, betrayal but also hope and joy and pleasure in the simplest things. The turning point is when Frank finally decides to forget about his father, a drunk who abandons his family, and become a man. The story becomes more poignant as we watch Frank struggle to transform himself. As the story ends, though, the reader gets a sense that life is going to be better (the protagonist finally makes it back to America after scrimping and scrounging and working his "arse" off to pay the fare). He feels in America he'll be able to do great things and the reader hopes so much that "'tis".*
*"'Tis" is the title of the last chapter.
I'm currently reading Fledgling, Octavia Butler's last novel and I must say that I really am in love with Octavia Butler. I am moving through the novel quickly and really enjoying all of the questions that Ms. Butler asks--questions with no easy answers. Fabulous. I had started to read Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker but it was a bit too muddled. I need to have a little more time/space to focus so I can get into it. I own that particular book, though, so it's cool. No pressure to have to read it in time before it's due.