I loved everything about The Clancys of Queens, Tara Clancy’s warm and funny memoir of growing up in Brooklyn and Queens as the only child of a divorced Italian mother and Irish father. As a child Tara seems to have spent more time figuring out how to stir things up than she did pondering her unusual family circumstances. She doesn’t seem to have been a sad or particularly introspective child. Instead, she happily careened around her family’s various homes and hangouts. Presumably not everyone appreciated some of her more daredevil efforts, but the book’s prevailing theme is of a group of adults who loved her, raised her, accepted her quirks and tried to help her find her way. Oddly none of these otherwise caring people seems to have been particularly focused on her formal education. Clancy clearly picked up a great deal just from hanging around adults, but she also enjoyed a great deal of freedom. Only in her late teens did she stumble upon a copy of King Lear and get excited about literature and interested in higher education. At that point, the same extended family that had paid little attention to her academics stepped up to the plate and helped her with college expenses.
This book is a wise, funny and non-mushy book. I really recommend it.