A Lucky Irish Lad
Forge, Feb 2 2010, $24.99
In Ipswich, England on April 20, 1949, Kevin is born to Irish parents after giving his mom and the midwife fits as he refused to leave the comfort of the womb. His joining the growing family brood as the fourth of eight kicking the third off the milk bar until the fifth kicked him to the table. A neighbor blithely said the poor lad shares birthday with Hitler, but his mom remarked her son will redeem the date by making it his day rather than that of that devil. With five in hand and prospects poor in Ireland and Great Britain, dad took the family across the ocean to New England where three more children joined the brood. Kevin served in Nam, became a psychiatric nurse and married Felita Suarez while struggling with being an Americanized Irish Catholic.
Although there seems to be a zillion coming of age in the 1950s-1960s memoirs on the market (see Angela’s Ashes and ‘Tis by McCourt, Little Boy Blues by Jones, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Janzen and Literary Life by McMurtrey, etc.) Kevin O’Hara refreshes his with witty humor. He states that his parents and siblings taught him the importance of health and family; as the latter needs to be there when the former is not. Interesting and well written, but not with anything unique, fans of autobiographies will enjoy. Mr. O’Hara’s memoir as he uses engaging anecdotes with intelligence and wit.