Sunday, January 02, 2011

Engaging tale from the rough side of town

It's a few hours before I head to work, so I am reading a couple more pages of an interesting tale.
"EASTER RISING: A MEMOIR OF ROOTS AND REBELLION," by MICHAEL PATRICK MACDONALD, is an engaging account of growing up in the poverty stricken Irish-American neighborhood South Boston ("SOUTHIE") during the late 1970s.

Seeking respite from the poverty and violence of the Old Colony housing project where he lives, MacDonald connects with the ragtag collection of outsiders fueling Boston's emerging PUNK ROCK scene.

At gigs featuring local bands such as Mission of Burma and U.K. icons such as Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Clash, MacDonald discovers a personal identity apart from the one claimed by his brothers and neighbors -- that of tough Irish-American youths.

Crime-related deaths in his family force MacDonald further from the decrepit streets of Southie and closer to his ancestral roots across the ocean.

"Easter Rising" is actually a sequel to MacDonald's first memoir about the rough neighborhood of his youth. I haven't read "All Souls: A Family Story From Southie," but if it's anywhere near as good as "Easter Rising," it will be one of the first books I seek in this new year.