Publication year: 2006
As the title suggests, the main character in this book is Kitty McCarthy.
The novel starts in 1950, and it is the wedding of one of Kitty’s sisters, Norah. Kitty is nineteen and works in a shoe factory. She has a big family. Before the war there were four boys and four girls, but two of the McCarthy’s sons were killed in the war. Now in 1950 Claire, the eldest, is a mother of three; Aileen is also married but even though she wishes a child of her own, it hasn’t happened yet. Now that Norah is married, there are only three McCarthy children at home: Kitty, Danny, and Jamie.
After Noah’s wedding a few things change for the McCarthys. First, Kitty finds a new job, working as a nanny for Faith Knowles who has two small a children and a husband who is away in Egypt. Kitty and Faith have a more friendly relationship than that of employer and employee. Apart from this, she talks to her mother, who has been depressed for many years after her two sons’ death, and Kitty manages to make her see that her sadness is not helping her husband, and after that, the woman seems better. Kitty also starts going out with her brother’s friend Con. Early in the novel Kitty mentions something that will happen to her in the future; she mentions that she will forget her eldest sister’s advice about not getting with child before marriage, and we know that this will happen to Kitty, and I have the impression it will be a nasty business. I don’t know why I don’t think anything much will happen with Con, and I have the hunch that maybe when Mr Knowles comes from Egypt, things will become complicated. I don’t know why, but I have this feeling.
Now the problem Kitty and her family have is that Marge, Kitty’s best friend, has fallen pregnant. Kitty knew that Marge had a thing for her brother Danny, and Marge went out with him a few times. Now when Marge tells Kitty, she realises that Marge got pregnant on purpose as she wanted to trap her brother, and Kitty doesn’t mince words and tells her friend. Naturally, they fall out, and Kitty doesn’t regret what she has told her friend. Kitty tells Danny that the best thing would be for him and Kitty to tell their parents about the marriage and not the baby. Yet, Marge has other plans as she tells her mother, who from Kitty we know is a horrible woman, so she kicks Marge out, and then Marge has to take shelter with the McCarthys and the secret is out.
Interesting start. I am already keen on this family, and I’m dying to see what they will go through as time goes by.