No Tears in Ireland: A Memoir Sylvia Couturie

ISBN: 9780743201933

Published:

Hardcover

237 pages


Description

No Tears in Ireland: A Memoir  by  Sylvia Couturie

No Tears in Ireland: A Memoir by Sylvia Couturie
| Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, ZIP | 237 pages | ISBN: 9780743201933 | 6.30 Mb

On a cool, end-of-July morning in 1939, eleven-year-old Sylvia Couturie and her eight-year-old sister, Marguerite, escorted by their Irish nanny, Wally, left their familys elegant French chateau for a fantastically ill-timed vacation. ExpectingMoreOn a cool, end-of-July morning in 1939, eleven-year-old Sylvia Couturie and her eight-year-old sister, Marguerite, escorted by their Irish nanny, Wally, left their familys elegant French chateau for a fantastically ill-timed vacation.

Expecting their parents to join them in a month, they embarked in high spirits on this rare adventure outside their privileged but tightly confined orbit of horses and hunts, servants and boarding schools. They sensed the distant rumblings of trouble on the edges of their world, but it would have been inconceivable that their long-awaited holiday would become a prolonged imprisonment, that their difficult governess would become their tyrannical jailer. It would defy belief to think that these daughters of privilege would soon be forced to fight for survival in a strange land as the world descended into war, with only the indomitable spirit of a little girl to carry them through.

Cut off from their family as France falls to the Germans, the penniless threesome is reduced to living in a miserable cottage without indoor plumbing on a remote strip of the Irish coast. As the months turn into years, Sylvia becomes aware that Wally is more concerned with preserving her status as their guardian than with securing their welfare and is slipping into dementia.

Denied any meaningful education and cut off by Wally from all but the most fleeting human contact, the girls endure, saved only by Sylvias extraordinary resourcefulness and the occasional kindness of strangers. Kept from home by Hitlers invaders, they are shocked and wounded by the pro-German sentiments of the anti-British locals. As they strain to make sense of their new and unrecognizable realityand are forced to deal with complex issues of bigotry and adult lunacy, the simplified yet profoundly astute worldview of the child is brilliantly conveyed. As German bombers fleeing British fighters during the battle of Britain terrorize the cowering threesome by dropping unused bombs in the ocean near their cottage, Sylvia finds strength in Churchills voice on the BBC -- and promises him not to cry until victory is won, her touchingly unique contribution to the war effort.The painstaking wait for word from home, the daily trials of survival, and the crushing loneliness of childhood are evoked with devastating simplicity.

Reconstructed from Couturies surviving childhood diary, this unforgettable narrative of the resilience of children chronicles her desperate fight for something approaching normalcy. In the process, she delivers an indelible portrait of an obscure corner of the earth, remote from the historic events of the day and yet the starkly beautiful backdrop for the often overlooked story of powerless children on the outer edges of a world gone mad.

This is the heartbreaking memoir of a childhood interrupted, of a way of life lost and a new one found, of exile and homecoming in a world restored to peace but forever changed.



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