Part of the power, and part of frustration of reading the books, is that there are so many unanswered questions. Did he ever get those darn eyes fixed? Why did he give up his first teaching job? I also wished he had told us more details about his brothers. It's almost as though he wanted to let them write their own books (a la A MONK SWIMMING), or perhaps respected their privacy a bit too much. While he doesn't shy away from hard things about himself, he does give his own crumbling marriage short-shrift. After making us care so much about his romances, he turns away from them when they get tough.
It's also remarkable to see how his voice changes as he ages and matures in the book. Early on, he writes like a perceptive but naive teenager. Then as a young, scared man. THen as an experienced man. That's great!
And best of all, by the end of this book, the title of ANGELA'S ASHES comes full circle if you will. The scenes with his mother (and father once in a while) are among the best and most emotional, because they are packed with love, resentment, confusion, anger, pity, etc. etc.
You must read this book, but you MUST, MUST, MUST read ANGELA'S ASHES first.
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