Cover image for To school through the fields : an Irish country childhood
To school through the fields : an Irish country childhood
Taylor, Alice, 1938-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1988.
Physical Description:
151 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DA959.1 .T38 1988 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This book was a phenomenon across the waters. Brought out by a small publisher in Ireland, it sold almost 200,000 copies there. If the Irish at home want to read about the deep spiritual connection of a young lass to the lovely countryside in which she grew up, we can expect Irish-Americans to relish the work all the more. Taylor tells of a childhood that, although not long ago in years, seems both ancient and timeless. The seasons, the weather, the animals and plants--these were the forces she encountered in the pre-Nintendo Ireland of the 1940s. Its charming nostalgia should find many appreciative readers. --Pat Monaghan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Taylor follows To School Through the Fields with these equally captivating further recollections of family life in pastoral County Cork, Ireland. Infused with wit and lyricism, the story centers on the 1950s when the author and her friends were budding teenagers. Unlike their daunted elders, the young were eager to ``quench the oil lamp'' and discard the chamber pot, as electricity and indoor plumbing changed home and farm forever. Taylor describes the past vividly and without complaint as years of hard labor for herself, parents and siblings, making clear that the days also were full of fun shared with neighbors in the close-knit community. Highlights in the memoir include the author's discovery of books, which became a lasting love, and her re-creation of the glorious night when she was allowed to attend her first dance at the county fair. Sad occasions also are reflected upon but the overall feeling is of joyful exuberance. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This is an Irishwoman's book of memories from a child's-eye view, told with all the immediacy and freshness of a child's vision. Taylor lovingly portrays a self-sufficient farm life that no longer exists. It included her family, a host of unique neighbors, and all of their doings through turns of the season: going to school and the strand, haying, dealing with animals, and coping with the death of her brother. This book is reassuring and enlivening to the human spirit. An unexpected best seller in Ireland, it should do as well here as any James Herriot title.-- Janice Dunham, John Jay Coll. Lib., CUNY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.