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The Clancys of Queens: A Memoir by Tara…

The Clancys of Queens: A Memoir (edition 2016)

by Tara Clancy (Author)

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22412382,272 (3.65)13
Fifth-generation New Yorker, third-generation bartender, and first-generation 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. From scheming and gambling with her force-of-nature grandmother, to brawling with eleven-year-old girls on the concrete recess battle yard of MS 172, to hours lounging on Adirondack chairs next to an immaculate croquet lawn, to holding court beside Joey O'Dirt, Goiter Eddy, and Roger the Dodger at her dad's local bar, Tara leapfrogs across these varied spheres, delivering stories from each world with originality, grit, and outrageous humor. Chock-full of characters who escape the popular imaginings of New York City, it offers a bold portrait of real people, whose stories are largely absent from our shelves. Most crucially, it captures--an inimitable prose--the rarely heard voices of New York's working-class women. --… (more)
Title:The Clancys of Queens: A Memoir
Authors:Tara Clancy (Author)
Info:Crown (2016), 256 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Clancys of Queens: A Memoir by Tara Clancy


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This is a coming of age story of a working class girl, growing up in Queens, but also visiting the world of 1% sometimes. If you have an Italian or Irish family and live in the US, you will recognize yourself here. Do yourself a favor and listen on audio. Tara Clancy reads it herself. Her Queens accent and exceptional ability to act out the antics will have you in stitches. I laughed out loud so many times. ( )
  LivingReflections | Dec 2, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Clancys of Queens: A Memoir by Tara Clancy, was an enjoyable, funny, and interesting book. Although I sometimes found her anecdotes to be slightly predictable, it was a good solid story of Tara Clancy's multi-dimensional childhood growing up during the 80's in Queens, New York. My favorite part was when she skipped class to read Shakespeare's King Lear and her teacher didn't believe her. As a lover of books myself, I could completely relate to that feeling of discovering the magic of a getting lost in a good book for the first time. Tara Clancy, her mother and grandmother are all strong independent women, and I thank the author for sharing their story with us. I won this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers book giveaway. ( )
  crosenar | May 17, 2018 |
When I chose this book, I understood I was picking up nonfiction. I like nonfiction when it’s told as a narrative. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I love historical fiction so much. Based on the dust jacket cover, even though “A Memoir” is printed right below the title, I thought I was picking up a biography of the Clancy family from maybe the 1930s through the 1950s. I was surprised to learn the timeframe is late 20th-century into early 21st century. I will admit that I didn’t’ read much past the first sentence of the book’s description. “Fifth-generation New Yorker, third-generation bartender, and first generation author…” sealed the deal for me. What I thought I was getting and what I got was a pleasant surprise, and an excellent read.

We first meet Tara Clancy when she is seven years old. She divides her time between four homes: Her father’s converted boat shed (talk about open-layout), her mother’s dingy apartment and her mother’s boyfriend’s Hampton estate, and that special place in Queens: her grandparents’ home in a geriatric area filled with Brooklyn-born Italians.

Clancy does an excellent job is depicting her family, the area, her friends, and her lifestyle. I won’t say it was addictive reading, but each evening I looked forward to seeing what Clancy was up to next. I was surprised to learn that all of character’s names had not been changed to protect the innocent, but there is nothing horrible about each one. They are who they are, and I found this refreshing.

The person who most rubbed me the wrong way was Clancy’s grandmother. She was rough. A no-nonsense, foul-mouth Italian immigrant, she was a force to be dealt with. That’s one of the things that make The Clancy’s of Queens such a fascinating read. It’s the real story of real people, not some sugar-coated adaptation of the mild mannered immigrant grateful for the opportunities American provided.

Readers get to experience life in a real way, in Clancy’s way, and those real-life stories are often hard to come by. I have several favorite episodes, but the ones that stand out are:
• Making her rounds through the neighborhood after being dropped off at her grandmother’s. This sounded like fun and reminded me of my dad making his rounds after he retired.
• Her mother taking her to Los Angeles to introduce her to her sexuality
• Weekends spent on Mark’s (her mother boyfriend) Hampton estate, where there was croquette, no television, and hours and hours of philosophical discussion between Clancy and Mark.

The Clancys of Queens gets 5 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. ( )
  juliecracchiolo | Mar 2, 2018 |
I enjoy memoirs and this one was a lot of fun. Tara is a spunky child how has a lot of energy. I kind of wonder if she had ADD before it was officially a thing. This brought back childhood memories for me when kids went outside and got into all kinds of trouble instead of sitting for hours in front of an electronic device. I really enjoyed the relationships she has/had with her Mom, Dad, Grandma, Mike and all the people in the neighborhood and her family. To be a kid again when you could just run into all the different neighbor's houses and it doesn't even phase them. well worth my time.

I won this on Goodreads and glad that I did. ( )
  MHanover10 | Feb 4, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I am a California native and thoroughly enjoyed reading a slice of life from the other coast. Since so many before me have synopsized the story, I will just say I loved the wit and humor that backed the memories. A good weekend read. ( )
  sdmtngirl | Jan 4, 2018 |
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For My Mom and Dad
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I'm the whirling dervish of Queens, spinning around and around, arms flapping, my father's boxing gloves like cinder blocks strapped to my seven-year-old hands.
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