Huge congratulations goes out to author Tom Phelan today!! It’s publication day for his newest book, WE WERE RICH AND WE DIDN’T KNOW IT: A Memoir of My Irish Boyhood published by Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books. And huge thanks goes out to editors Aimee Bell and Brita Lundberg.
In the tradition of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes and Alice Taylor’s To School Through the Fields, Tom Phelan’s We Were Rich and We Didn’t Know It is a heartfelt and masterfully written memoir of growing up in Ireland in the 1940s.
Tom Phelan, who was born and raised in County Laois in the Irish midlands, spent his formative years working with his wise and demanding father as he sought to wrest a livelihood from a farm that was often wet, muddy, and back-breaking.
It was a time before rural electrification, the telephone, and indoor plumbing; a time when the main modes of travel were bicycle and animal cart; a time when small farmers struggled to survive and turkey eggs were hatched in the kitchen cupboard; a time when the Church exerted enormous control over Ireland.
WE WERE RICH AND WE DIDN’T KNOW IT recounts Tom’s upbringing in an isolated, rural community from the day he was delivered by the local midwife. With tears and laughter, it speaks to the strength of the human spirit in the face of life’s adversities.
Praise already in for this book:
“You don’t have to be Irish to cherish this literary gift—just being human and curious and from a family will suffice.” –Malachy McCourt, New York Times bestselling author of A Monk Swimming
“Other works have been situated at the same intersection of time and place, but rarely has the tale been told with such a charming simplicity of voice plus a vividness that fully captures the distinctive sound and pulse of Irish life.” –Billy Collins
“A tender recollection of growing up on a farm in Ireland in the 1940s… a captivating portrait of a bygone time.” –Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Plain, honest, funny, occasionally sad and rich in material detail, this wonderful memoir […] is the real thing.” –Newsday
“[A] series of tender and earnest anecdotes of coming-of-age in the rural Irish midlands of the 1940s… Phelan’s vivid images of his life on the farm and at school provide a rich and colorful snapshot of the times that shaped him.” –Publishers Weekly
“An evocative memoir with echoes of Frank McCourt.” –Newsday
Don’t miss the opportunity to read this beautiful memoir. Get your copy today.