We Were Rich and We Didn’t Know It by Tom Phelan. Published by Gallery

Phelan’s memoir tells of his boyhood in Ireland in County Laois, where he labored day and night, helping his father run their small farm. They had so electricity, telephone or motorized form of transportation, they ate only what they could grow or slaughter, and all the time they were in the constant shadow of the Catholic Church. This might seem like a grim childhood, and to be sure at times it was, but Phelan also draws on the small victories, the love of the land and of family. At a time when we have so much and are satisfied with none of it, Phelan’s story is one of grace and beauty


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