Falling Angels, by Tracy Chevalier
I found this plot a little flat and I couldn't really attach to the characters. Similar to how I've felt about her other books.
Are you Somebody, by Nuala O'Faolain
The one complaint I have with most memoirs is that the become too laden with details. I got a little lost in the middle of this book, but overall it is a really worthwhile read.
A heartbreaking story of growing up one of nine children in a poor, damaged home in Ireland in the 1940s and 50s. Her parents had nothing to give to their children, either physically or emotionally, and many of her siblings were simply lost as a result. Nuala's salvation came in reading books, and this led her to several incidents of good fortune that allowed her to overcome some of her past and move away from Ireland. She wrestles throughout her life with her overwhelming longing for love and commitment, even knowing how many women's lives were ruined by marriage and pregnancy in that era. Still she finds herself now in her 50's, alone, and attempting to come to terms with that. It was interesting to read her Afterward, about how many many people of her generation in Ireland related to her story in so many ways. It is such a sad, sad picture of a generation that grew up abused, neglected, impoverished, and without parental love. It is a wonder that a culture can continue and recover, that somehow in the heart of even the most rejected and abused, there is yet a hope and hunger for, and belief in love.