Quench the Lamp

Quench the Lamp

4.09 (66 ratings by Goodreads)
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A classic memoir from Ireland's favourite storyteller. Here Taylor follows To School Through The Fields with these equally captivating recollections of family life in pastorial County Cork. Infused with wit and lyricism, the story centres on the 1950's when the author and her friends were teenagers. She describes the past vividly and without complaint as the years of hard labour for herself, parents and siblings, were also filled with fun in the close knit community.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 134 x 215 x 14mm | 222.26g
  • O'Brien Press Ltd
  • Brandon
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • English
  • 0863221122
  • 9780863221125
  • 267,065

About Alice Taylor

Alice Taylor lives in the village of Innishannon in County Cork, in a house attached to the local supermarket and post office. Since her eldest son has taken over responsibility for the shop, she has been able to devote more time to her writing. Alice Taylor worked as a telephonist in Killarney and Bandon. When she married, she moved to Innishannon where she ran a guesthouse at first, then the supermarket and post office. She and her husband, Gabriel Murphy, who sadly passed away in 2005, had four sons and one daughter. In 1984 she edited and published the first issue of Candlelight, a local magazine which has since appeared annually. In 1986 she published an illustrated collection of her own verse. To School Through the Fields was published in May 1988. It was an immediate success, launching Alice on a series of signing sessions, talks and readings the length and breadth of Ireland. Her first radio interview, forty two minutes long on RTE Radio's Gay Byrne Show, was the most talked about radio programme of 1988, and her first television interview, of the same length, was the highlight of the year on RTE television's Late Late Show. Since then she has appeared on radio programmes such as Woman's Hour, Midweek and The Gloria Hunniford Show, and she has been the subject of major profiles in the Observer and the Mail on Sunday. To School Through the Fields quickly became the biggest selling book ever published in Ireland, and her sequels, Quench the Lamp, The Village, Country Days and The Night Before Christmas, were also outstandingly successful. Since their initial publication these books of memoirs have also been translated and sold internationally. Alice has also written fiction: her first novel, The Woman of the House, was an immediate bestseller in Ireland, topping the paperback fiction lists for many weeks and the saga continues in two further books. One of Ireland's most popular authors, her most recent book is Tea and Talk.show more

Review Text

A somewhat disappointing sequel to the Cork Country postmistress's To School Through the Fields (1990), a best-selling book in Ireland. Here, Taylor depicts the end of both her own and Ireland's enchanted childhood and the onset of modern sophistication. The earlier volume fairly pulsated with the recollected joy of growing up on an Irish farm in the days of candlelight and farm animals with names. Now, the author takes the reader through her adolescent years, when electricity transformed rural Ireland, when she herself was transformed by her attendance at secondary school in the nearest town, and when many of the traditional rules of youthful behavior began to be seriously flaunted. As the youngest of five daughters, Taylor was able to let her siblings fight most of the family battles while the unfashionably tall, gangly baby of the family scribbled stories at a rickety wooden table in the freezing loft. The reader benefits from her vigilant eye in these accounts of her farmer father's despair when the radio's battery went dead; of the neighbor woman who married for convenience and lived happily ever after; and of the regular Monday appearance of Bridgie the washerwoman, whose attention to the family's best lace bedspreads bordered on religious reverence. Diverting stories all, but fragmented, and generally lacking in the vigorous sensuality that empowered the previous work. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

66 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 39% (26)
4 33% (22)
3 24% (16)
2 3% (2)
1 0% (0)
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