Title: The Clancys of Queens
Author: Tara Clancy
Publication Year: 2016
Pages: 240Genre: Memoir
My Rating: 5/5
|Also one of the prettiest covers I've seen this year <3|
Fifth-generation New Yorker, third-generation bartender, and first-time author Tara Clancy was raised in three wildly divergent homes: a converted boat shed in working class Queens, a geriatric commune of feisty, Brooklyn-born Italians, and a sprawling Hamptons estate she visited every other weekend. This childhood triptych comes to life in The Clancys of Queens, an electric, one-of-a-kind memoir.
I loved so many things about this memoir. First, Tara Clancy is not a celebrity, a politician or an athlete. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy about famous people too but it always fascinates me when someone can narrate their story in a captivating way. I love reading about ordinary people's lives and the extraordinary things that happen to them. The memoir focuses greatly on Tara's large Irish-Italian-American family and the hilarious and heartbreaking stories that come with being part of such a group. Although all families are a little strange,Tara's is certainly one of the most unique as she switches from her mother's boyfriend's Hampton house to her grandparents' home to her father's blue collar neighborhood in a roller coaster of interesting characters and diverse locations. While her childhood situation may be one of a kind, Tara's narrative will feel familiar and funny to anyone who grew up with a large and crazy family.
Second, I might be biased but I loved the unabashed Queens pride. As a fellow Queens resident, I feel like my borough trails by Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx when it comes to books set in the borough so it's nice to see Queens represented! More Queens books please!
Last but not least, Tara has one of the funniest voices I've read in a long time. She had me snorting with laughter on the train at several points and is really what ties together the narrative and makes it excellent. She is honest and incredibly witty. Contemporary memoirs are not usually my thing but I absolutely loved this one. My only regret is not picking it up on audio book which I have heard is even better as she reads her own book in a magnificent Queens accent. Make sure to pick this one up! It's not too long and is a perfect summer read!
Speaking of, check out this NPR piece that shares more of Tara's background and the book!