Seamus O’Flynn: New York Diaries of an Immigrant Son is a fictionalized memoir written by Bill Tobin. It is engaging and interesting and, for the most part, captures a moving and believable portrait of growing up in NYC in the 30’s and 40’s.
Seamus is a typical youngster who goes through typical boyhood experiences. He is part of a large Catholic family, lives in an apartment building (where everyone knows everyone else’s business), attends Catholic school, is an altar boy and eventually gets his first job. His family’s attitudes reflect those of the time period. This is a poignant, sad and humorous book, depending on which section you’re reading.
Overall, the writing is good, mostly written in the present tense, although occasionally the author switches to past tense.
All that being said, this is definitely a book with mature themes. Abuse by a priest, wife abuse and murder all make an appearance in this novel.
An editor would have improved this book a great deal, but I still enjoyed the story and found it an interesting, engaging and poignant read.
Thanks to the author for sending me a review copy.
Copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach