'Poverty is a very exacting teacher and I had been taught well' The post-war urban jungle of the Glasgow tenements was the setting for Molly Weir's childhood.
From sharing a pull-out bed in her mother's tiny kitchen to running in terror from the fever van, it was an upbringing that was cemented in hardship.
Hunger, cold and sickness was an everyday reality and complaining was not an option.
Despite the crippling poverty, there was a vivacity to the tenements that kept spirits high.
Whether Molly was brushing the hair of her wizened neighbour Mrs MacKay, running to Jimmy's chip shop for a ha'penny of crimps or dancing at the annual fair, there wasn't a moment to spare for self-pity.
Molly never let it get her down as she and the other urchins knew how to make do with nothing. And at the centre of her world was her fearsome but loving Grannie, whose tough, independent spirit taught Molly to rise above her pitiful surroundings and achieve her dreams.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 224 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 29/03/2012
- Category: Memoirs
- ISBN: 9780241957929
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Review by Bjace
George Bernard Shaw once wrote that poverty was the greatest evil in the world, but somehow no one every told Molly Weir that. The daughter of a working widow living in a Glasgow tenement between The Wars, Weir grew up in a loving environment with two women, her mother and her grandmother, who taught her responsibility at an early age. This book covers her earliest years and depicts slum life in Glasgow with a light hand. I sometimes learned more about the details of life with the Weir family than I wanted to know, but this is a charming story. It's evident from the first that Molly had character and drive. Continued by Best Foot Forward.