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Angela's Ashes Summary

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Angela's Ashes Pr�cis Angela's Ashes begins as Frank McCourt describes how his parents met and married in New York, and four years later moved back to their home country, Ireland. Frank tells about the life of his mother, Angela Sheehan, who is sent to New York by her mother, where she meets and sleeps with Malachy, an Irishman recently out of prison. Angela's cousins, the MacNamara sisters, order Malachy to marry Angela. A few months later their first child, Francis, is born and baptized. Angela's cousins advise her not to have any more kids with the jobless Malachy, but a year later Malachy Gerard is born. Shortly after, Frankie's mother has twins, Oliver and Eugene. Frank's father often finds work, but continuously spends his wages at pubs. Angela has another child, a girl, named Margaret. Everyone is in love with Margaret, especially Frankie's father, who hasn't had a drink since she was born. However, Margaret soon dies, and Frankie's father goes to a pub, while Frankie's mother enters a state of depression. The MacNamara sisters send a letter to Angela's mother, who sends money for Angela and her family to take a boat back to Ireland. The McCourt's arrive in Toome, Ireland, where Malachy's parents greet them coldly. ...read more.


Frank expresses how he loves the father who reads him the paper in the morning and tells him stories at night, but dislikes the father who comes home drunk. The McCourt's living conditions are miserable because of the stench of the lavatory, the flies and the rats, but the family cannot afford to move. Angela tells Malachy she is done having children, and Malachy goes to England so that he can work and send money back to his family. They wait for their first telegram, but the money never comes. Frank gets an infection in his eye and is sent to the hospital, where he sees both Seamus and Mr. Timony. Mr. Timony tells him to be sure to continue reading, and Seamus comes three times a week to recite poetry to him. Angela falls ill, and Frank steals to feed the family. Angela is diagnosed with pneumonia and the boys go to stay with their Aunt Aggie while Angela recovers in the hospital. Frank's father comes home and takes care of the boys for a couple of days, but leaves once Angela is well again. Malachy only sends money to his family once, forcing Angela to turn to the Dispensary for money. Frank is shamed when he sees Angela begging for money at the Redemptorist church. ...read more.


His boss and peers at the post office feel that Frank thinks he is too good for them. The night before Frank turns sixteen, Pa Keating takes Frank for his first pint. At home, Frank fights with Angela about Laman and hits her. Frank goes to church the next day where a kind priest helps him to confess and be forgiven for his sins. Frank begins his work delivering papers for Mr. McCaffrey. On one occasion, all of the employees must run around Limerick tearing out a page of a magazine that is about birth control and thus impure. Frank makes nine pounds after keeping some of these pages to sell. Angela works in the home of a rich old man, Mr. Sliney, and Malachy goes to England to work in the gas works. Three years go by, and Mrs. Finucane dies. Frank takes much of the money she has been saving to pay for masses after her death. He now has enough money to go to America, and after a party at his home, he leaves. Before reaching Albany, the boat stops for a night in Poughkeepsie, where Frank goes with a priest to a party on shore. Frank sleeps with what that priest considers a "bad" woman at the party. When Frank returns to the ship, he agrees that America is a "great country." ...read more.

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