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On the Home Front (Mary Jo Ryan Clark books Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Mary Jo Clark as told to Jack Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

Everyday American life of the Irish in Chicago---from Prohibition
through World War II

"Jack Clark's wondrous celebration of his working-class mother and her natural gifts as a storyteller has touched me deeply. Hooray for Mary Jo Ryan Clark and her boy Jack." --Studs Terkel

"The book itself is a marvel of writerly restraint... Some are private moments--being 4 years old, getting shiny new shoes and remembering looking down at them as she toed circles in the sawdust on a butcher shop floor.
"Other brush against history--news of Pearl Harbor, or the Dorchester, a World War II troop ship sunk off the coast of Greenland. It was famous for the four chaplains who gave up their life vests to other sailors, but Bill, who was dating Mary Jo's younger sister, wasn't one of the lucky survivors...
"The books strength is that it doesn't stoop to Greatest Generation mythologizing. The Clarks are real people, and Mary Jo doesn't try to make them heroes." --Chicago Sun-Times

Mary Jo and Jack Clark are also authors of "Private Path -- The Desk Calendars of Mary Jo Ryan, 1937 -- 1943."

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Mary Jo Clark lived through historic times--Prohibition and the Great
Depression, World War II--but her experiences were not unusual. What
makes her special is her ability to shape these experiences into
coherent, heartfelt stories. She stops the whirlwind and we see the
touch of history on the common man, and get an intimate look at
everyday life in a world gone by.

About the Author

Mary Jo Clark lives in Chicago and is the mother of seven children and eleven grandchildren.
Jack Clark, a Chicago cabdriver, is a novelist and the author of a forthcoming mystery.

Product Details

  • File Size: 331 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jack Clark (November 11, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004BSH1OK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #795,432 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars on the home front jack clark September 10, 2011
By moperri
anyone from chicago, or had parents or grandparents that grew up in chicago, or interested in american families early-mid 1900's will read this book and read it again. most of the stories are about simple everyday experiences. plus, if you are familiar with chicago, you will relate to the streets, neighborhoods, businesses and schools.

i am sending a copy to an 80 year old couple in england that i know will enjoy the "history lesson" while my teenage grandson is reading my copy. every story brings you deep into mary jo's thoughts and feelings. you will share her feelings from page one to the end of the book. how lucky for us that her son jack put it in writing. i would love to share a day and a pot of tea with mary jo clark!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this wonderful book two years ago and I have shared stories from it many times. Last night I stayed up WAY too late re-reading it and it's just as good as I remembered. I loved Jack Clark's tale of taking his Mom's popular stories and "making a book of them" (i.e. using his writing skills to re-package them and put them in chronological order) only to be told by an newspaper editor that he wanted to publish the ORIGINAL STORIES. The Kindle edition gives Mary Jo Ryan Clark's memories just as she told them to her family and they are treasures in the best tradition of Irish story telling.

Born in 1914 into a poor, hard-working, and loving family in Chicago, Mary Jo makes the past come alive without any attempt to sugarcoat it's tragedies and hardships or to dramatize them. Life was life and it was all she knew and she and her family made the best of things. She tells of a childhood surrounded by (sometimes eccentric) relatives in which the Catholic Church was the center of the community. I loved the story of the two priests strolling the neighborhood always on the alert for Irish-looking children who needed to be enrolled in Catholic school. Their arguments seldom failed to persuade the errant parents.

Then there was Prohibition - "the Noble Experiment" (or the Joke of the Century.) Her father's basement still blew up and he went back to buying from neighbors with better brewing skills. When the bootlegger's son married the policeman's daughter one family member remarked sardonically, "So now the out-laws are our in-laws!"

My absolute favorite was the widowed aunt who enjoyed a pleasant, active life with family and friends when she decided (against the advice of her grown children) to re-marry.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Part of the reason I liked the book so much is that I was born in the Windy City and know some of the Chicago neighborhoods that form most of the scenes in this history. An easy and enjoyable read throughout!
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