John Killeen.

Book tells tale of Athlone 1950s' childhood

One for Sorrow, Two for Joy by Athlone-born John Killeen is an enchanting and searingly honest memoir of an Ireland long gone but well remembered, of a time that remains both part of what we are and part of what we left behind.

American writer and academic John Maxwell O’Brien said of it: “What a marvellous gift I gave to myself when I purchased this book. It chronicles seven formative years in the life of a boy who grew up in the town of Athlone in Ireland during the early 50s. John-John’s coming of age is described with such skill, sensitivity and universal appeal, that the present writer, who grew up on the streets of New York City during the same years, can completely identify with the main character and the ordeals, awakenings and inner turmoil he struggled with during those halcyon days....

This is life with a pulse and intelligence, a story woven with threads of history, religion, politics, bigotry and alcoholism......

Young John-John, the main character in this fictionalised memoir, is told at one point, “You’re a biteen of a storyteller, all right.”

He grew up to be more than that – I’d say an accomplished raconteur. Bravo!’

The book is available from Amazon, and Shop In Ireland.

More from this Topic