Where Did They Get You? a memoir
A memoir that charts the changing face of Irish society, as witnessed by one who was a member of the diaspora. It is both a travel and occupational memoir. The author's career in nursing spanned five decades and took her to over eight countries. It is also the story of personal triumph, overcoming adversity, drawing on the strength of her upbringing and her convictions in doing so. More
In Where Did They Get You? by Bridget P. McDonnell, we are treated to a fascinating account of one woman’s experiences: from growing up in Ireland in the period immediately after the second world war; emigration while still in the prime of her youth; a career in nursing that spanned five decades and which took her to eight countries, as well as travels the length and breadth of the globe.
This is a memoir that charts the changing face of Irish society, as it was experienced by one who was a member of the diaspora. It is both a travel and occupational memoir: the author's career in nursing and the travels that this entailed are recorded in absorbing detail. It is also the story of personal triumph, overcoming adversity, drawing on the strength of her upbringing and her convictions in doing so.
While it is a story that in some ways might be regarded as typical of her generation, it is also a very personal reflection. She talks candidly about her experiences, what her upbringing, her convictions and her training as a nurse meant to her in coming to terms with the changes and vicissitudes in one’s fortunes and circumstances.
It is the story too of the changing face of Irish society, as witnessed by one who was a member of the diaspora. The author's relationship with her home country, the family and friends she left behind is discussed. Also explored are the highs and lows of the emigrant experience: the excitement and thrills alongside periods of loneliness and the feeling that one is still, somehow, missing out.
Finally, this is also the story of one who never lost touch with her roots, however trying and difficult the circumstances may have been. Having moved back to Ireland, she retired in 2009 and today lives less than twelve miles from the place where she grew up.
"This book will strike a chord with many people, as it explores so many life experiences and issues, including motherhood, emigration, growing up in Ireland, betrayal, love and loss. It is a story that documents McDonnell's varied nursing career and all of the places it took her. It also deals with coming to terms with whatever life throws at you. The independence, courage and strength of character that Bridget displayed throughout her life is truly inspirational." - World of Irish Nursing magazine.
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