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Let The Merry-Go-Round Resume: A Family Story

John Murphy

In present-day Scotland an old woman passes away. For her son, who has felt trapped coming back to his childhood home to take care of her, it brings a measure of relief. However, a century of struggle and suffering has brought his family to this present position of emotional distance.


From rural Ireland between the wars, to rural Scotland before, during and after World War II, his grandparents and subsequently his parents and their families endure lives of hard work, thwarted ambition, alcoholism and domestic violence.


Religion, perceptions of class, familial jealousy and the sadness of individuals resigned to their fate carry the family through the twentieth century. But there is also laughter and music and love, which battles – as it always has – not to be overshadowed by misfortune.


This is a tale of history repeating itself and of the reasons a family can perpetuate its own suffering even while railing against it.

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ABOUT JOHN MURPHY