My Marian Year keeps making friends.
I received this email yesterday which contains typical reader sentiments.
I have just read “My Marian Year” and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was not sure if it was an auto-biography or a novel based on your life, or just a novel, but nevertheless I related to everything. Although older than you and a child of the war years, I could relate to all of what you wrote – even the small details like wrapping kitchen waste in newspaper and placing it in the steel rubbish bin.
I also enjoyed the tussle with the church. Living near St Michaels as a child it brought things home to me. I think we were a more affluent family than Johnny Boy as we had a car and even a beach house. However we were not allowed to fall in love with Catholics, even though at dancing class they were the prettiest girls with their black hair and a touch of the Irish. The reason we had to avoid them was because of the then discipline of the Catholic Church – fish on Fridays, the rosary, grace before meals, Mass every Sunday, confession etc. We therefore had to go to the more relaxed St Marks.
Where I lived it was a big neighbourhood with a big gully to play in. The war years meant an air raid shelter where boys smoked, and where there was a horse, sheep, bush tracks and huts and even the occasional unashamed nudity. I wrote a novel about it which is on Kindle and trickles out. It was called “The Par Rem Kids.” It has not the detail of your book though. It just touches on the times. Your book retains the times for posterity.
The other books I have written are based on ruraldom. I ended up a farmer for many years with a tourist side to it and wrote for magazines from time to time among other things.
My older brother also enjoyed your book. He said it brought back his childhood very pleasantly.