Roots and Wings by Brendan J. Nangle is an Irish memoir, consisting of a unique compilation of childhood memories, Irish inspired tales and delightful poems.
Roots and Wings, includes a collection of childhood memories and is a social history of bygone days. Brendan’s stories help record a way of life that is no more, but one which remains cherished by many.
Today I’m delighted to introduce this lovely Irish book to you.
Plus, good news! I have a copy of Roots and Wings for one lucky reader to win.
Before I share details of how to enter for a chance to win this book, let’s first learn more about the author, Brendan Nangle, and the wonderful stories found in his memoir.
About Brendan Nangle
Born in Dublin in the 1940’s, Brendan grew up in the city. However, he often visited the counties where his parents were born. Counties Wicklow and Sligo inspire many of the stories in this book.
Brnedan studied chemistry at University College Dulin, and after graduating with a Ph.D. he worked for many years in chemical industries both in Ireland and abroad.
He retired in 2003, and decided it was time to transform his scientific writing skills and explore creative writing as a pastime.
Initially he composed a series of stories for his grandchildren to enjoy. His grandchildren frequently asked him, “what was life like when you were growing up?” Their questions prompted him to start recording their family history and stories.
He joined a local writing group in Dalkey, where he now lives with his wife. He started writing short stories and is working on a historical novel.
The magnificent scenery of his hometown provides much inspiration for Brendan’s writing. With panoramic views of Dublin Bay, Dalkey is home to many Irish writers and hosts an annual Book Festival.
Although part of suburban south county Dublin, the natural landscape of Dalkey and Killiney Hills, with its surrounding seascape, is simply stunning.
Brendan has won much praise for his writing over the years. His stories have appeared in the compilation, Storytellers, New Writing from Ireland. The Irish Times has published some of his reflections on Irish life.
Roots and Wings
Roots and Wings is an entertaining read, while also providing insights into Ireland in the 1940’s and 1950’s.
Here’s how the author describes his book…
"The book includes my childhood recollections of the Ireland of over half a century ago, memories that somehow find their way back through the intensifying mists of time. Many of the stories tell of significant events in my family history in Ireland, embracing places in Dublin, Wicklow and Sligo.
Also included are a few recollections from more recent periods, after I flew the nest. In addition, the book contains a collection of fictional stories, mostly influenced by people, places and events in Ireland. Four of my poems are also included."
The stories shared are heartfelt, sometimes poignant, but above all they offer us an opportunity to better understand life in Ireland during the mid-20th century. The reader is drawn into a loving, warm family experience. Simple stories and loving memories bring the past to life.
From local lore, to family stories passed down through the generations, this compilation is engaging throughout.
The stories and poems between the pages, instill a feeling of deep connection with Ireland, her people and her history.
Stories of Wicklow Town
Brendan’s mother, Eileen Nangle was from Wicklow Town, south of Dublin. Her maiden name was O’Byrne and her family owned the Bridge Hotel there.
Here’s what the author says about his connections to Wicklow:
'My mother was from Wicklow town and I have many fond memories of visits to my grandparents. They owned the Bridge Hotel, an old and historic building by the river. My grandfather's intriguing tales of past events in the hotel stuck in my young memory.”
In his book, Brendan shares stories of the Halpins, previous owners of the hotel. Their son Robert was involved in laying the first trans-Atlantic telegraphic cable from Valentia Island in County Kerry to Newfoundland.
When Brendan’s grandfather passed away he spent a few years living in the hotel. His mother tried to keep the hotel business going.
This hotel still operates today, as the Bridge Tavern (pictured above), although the O’Byrne family are no longer the owners.
This historic hotel inspired many of Brendan’s stories and has left an indelible mark on his childhood memories.
Inspired by the poetic writings of his late mother, Brendan decided to try his hand at composing verse. His book includes four beautifully composed poems.
Lough Arrow and County Sligo
Brendan’s father originally came from a small village called Castlebaldwin in County Sligo. The family home was close to the beautiful Lough Arrow, and Brendan spent many hours there fishing as a child.
His father spent his childhood fishing on this lake, and it held much significance for him throughout his life. One of the poignant stories in this book illustrates the bond his father felt with this place.
Brendan’s father was a young man during the troubled times of Ireland’s struggle for independence and the Civil War that followed. His stories reflect on the historical significance of those times.
The Irish Art of Storytelling
The Irish are renowned story tellers. Our ancestors revered the art of the story, and our history has been handed down through the generations through an oral storytelling tradition.
Here are some beautiful quotations about storytelling by Brendan Nangle:
“If the mind can be joyously transported away from the many pressures of everyday realities to some distant place and time on the wings of the written word, then surely a story has fulfilled its purpose, be it fact or fiction.”
“It’s a way of throwing seeds of thought out into the world, not knowing how they will blossom in other hearts and minds.That’s what storytelling - that ancient Irish tradition and artform, whether written or oral - is all about. It’s a rich heritage and this is my storytelling.”
Where to Buy Roots and Wings
Roots and Wings is available in paperback and Kindle formats from Amazon.
For anyone in Ireland, it can be purchased from Bridge Street Books in Wicklow Town.
One lucky reader will win copy of Roots and Wings by Brendan J. Nangle.
To enter simply leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern Time on Saturday, September 11th, 2021.
Any comment will do. What you write does not affect your chance of winning, but if you need inspiration why not tell us if you have any treasured childhood memories from Ireland or a place anywhere in the world, you hold dear to your heart.
A winning comment will be chosen randomly. Remember to leave your e-mail so that I can contact you should you win. Your e-mail won’t be published, just used to contact our lucky contestant for mailing of the prize.
The winner will be announced on Saturday, September 11th, 2021, at the bottom of this blog post.
You may check out Irish American Mom’s complete terms and conditions for sweepstakes’ entries here.
Thank you to all who support this giveaway and share it with family and friends.
UPDATE - WINNER CHOSEN
Our winner has been randomly chosen using the Pick Giveaway Winner Plug-in for WordPress.
And the lucky reader is ….
I’ll send an email to arrange mailing of her prize. A big thank you to everyone for supporting this giveaway by leaving comments. I thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every comment.
Thank you all for supporting our Irish American community.
Stay tuned for more stories and giveaways over the coming weeks and months.
Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
SLÁN AGUS BEANNACHT,
(GOODBYE AND BLESSINGS)
IRISH AMERICAN MOM
Disclosure: I recieved a free copy of this book for review purposes. This post reflects my honest and unbiased thoughts about this work.
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