Coming of age memoir about growing up in Ireland in the late 60’s/early 70’s. From the age of 9, the author was made to smuggle food supplies from the North of Ireland into the South, in order to increase profits from his father’s restaurant business. From there we are introduced to his Grandfather, a lovable rogue whose self-entertainment pranks know no bounds. Growing up in an impoverished family and era, the author was forced to cut his childhood short and assume a man’s role on the family farm due to his father’s failing health. His father’s poor health did nothing to halt his penchant for coming up with completely unconventional methods of making a living, or places in which to live (a double-decker bus on the side of a Donegal mountain.) The reader is taken on a whirlwind adventure of life in Ireland without electricity or running water, where school clothes came out of brown parcels from an aunt in America and pets remained part of the family until it was time for them to be eaten.
The Big Yank: Memoir of a Boy Growing Up Irish is a poignant, memorable and inspirational read that will inspire heartache, laughter, and optimism in its readers. The Big Yank is a memoir unlike anything I have read before; it stands out against the genre thanks to the authors brazen honesty. If memoirs were as honest and open as The Big Yank then all of them would be incredible because the sad truth is, that some of them are not, however, The Big Yank most certainly is incredible and I believe readers who love memoirs, as well as lovers of history, will adore this book… I definitely did!
The Big Yank is written by J.P. Sexton and the focus of the story is Sexton himself. J.P. Sexton was born in America however when he was young he and his family moved back to Ireland and there they started a new life. Sexton narrates the story of his life, focusing on his childhood and growing up in Ireland during the 60’s and 70’s and what that was like. Sexton will enlighten his readers on what it was like to grow up during these decades as well as inform his readers about the abuse he experienced at the hands of his father. Sexton suffered many terrible situations growing up, however, despite his abuse and the harrowing moments of literature in The Big Yank, the story is mostly an uplifting one which focuses on overcoming your past and your experiences and looking to the future.
J.P. Sexton throughout his book injects humor which perfectly adds to his story so if you are a reader who is fearful that The Big Yank is too somber and will depress you then please think again as Sexton’s words will also make you smile, laugh and be filled with hope.
The Big Yank is a gem and a delight to read and this is thanks to Sexton’s excellent narration of his story. Very rarely do I come across a book that is so honest, I have read a lot of memoirs that are honest but with some of them, I feel that the author is holding back and not divulging all the details. When an author does not fully tell their story it translates to the reader and does not make them invest in the story. However, I got the sense very early on that Sexton was holding nothing back and he most certainly did not. Instead, Sexton unleashed everything from his past and poured it all into his story and it made for a truly stunning, enlightening read.
The way The Big Yank is written is stunning and very personal. As I read Sexton’s narrative I could not help but shake the feeling that he was talking with me, one on one. Of course, many people have read The Big Yank and Sexton is not speaking directly to me, but his personalized writing and insight made me feel just this way and that is always a beautiful quality to experience with memoirs.
As The Big Yank is a memorable, profound and sensational memoir that will enlighten and inspire many readers, I have no choice but to award this brilliant book five stars. If you are a reader who is looking to read a memoir that you can invest in and spend many enjoyable nights with then The Big Yank is for you!
Thank you so much for reading book lovers! I appreciate it so much and love discussing wonderful books with all of you so please, comment below and let me know your thoughts on The Big Yank: Memoir of a Boy Growing Up Irish; do you see yourself reading this book? Let me know all of those brilliant thoughts of yours below! Thank you so much again for reading!
P.S. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! Please have a read of the preview and if you find that you have loved what you have read then all you need to do is click the Buy on Amazon button and it will take you straight to the book on Amazon U.S.! If you are in the U.K. then below I have attached a link to the book for the Amazon U.K. I have also attached some links about the author and this wonderful book! Thank you so much again for reading book lovers, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this book.
Amazon U.S. – Amazon U.K. – Goodreads