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Girls of Tender Age : A Memoir
Girls of Tender Age A Memoir
Author: Mary-Ann Tirone Smith
In Girls of Tender Age, Mary-Ann Tirone Smith fully articulates with great humor and tenderness the wild jubilance of an extended French-Italian family struggling to survive in a post-World War II housing project in Hartford, Connecticut. Smith seamlessly combines a memoir whose intimacy matches that of Angela's Ashes with the tale...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780743279772
ISBN-10: 0743279778
Publication Date: 12/20/2005
Pages: 304
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 28 ratings
Publisher: Free Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
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reviewed Girls of Tender Age : A Memoir on
Helpful Score: 2
This book was so excellent. It touched my heart in so many ways. I had to have a good cry when I finished it. I am tempted to keep it, but I really don't have to, because I will never forget a word of it.
reviewed Girls of Tender Age : A Memoir on + 524 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wonderful autobiography of author Mary Ann Tirone-Smith that focuses on the murder of a classmate in the 1950's.
reviewed Girls of Tender Age : A Memoir on + 344 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Mary-Ann Tirone Smith writes of her childhood, her friends and neighbors. It is a typical though delightful coming-of-age story until the murder of a schoolmate interrupts her childhood and in a way, takes away her innocence. I found this to be a real page turner as the author tells how she coped with the horror (or tried to).
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Helpful Score: 1
Mary Ann Tirone-Smith has done an excellent job of describing her childhood in the 1950s - her emotionally-estranged mother, her doting father and her older brother whose autism regulated how the family unit operated. The convergence of evil with innocence changed everything when a child predator killed her 11-year old friend, who was just one of the "girls of tender age" whom he assaulted. The author has offered an unblemished look at her life before and after the murder.
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reviewed Girls of Tender Age : A Memoir on + 300 more book reviews
Very interesting memoir. Even more interesting for me; I know this area of Hartford well because I have worked here for years.
reviewed Girls of Tender Age : A Memoir on + 16 more book reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed _Girls of a Tender Age_, a unique book that reads part memoir, part true-crime, weaving Tirone Smith's memories of a childhood in Hartford, CT with investigative details about the murder of a schoolgirl friend, a terrible crime that changed her neighborhood forever. Woven throughout the story is the controlling influence in her family, her older brother Tyler, who we would now recognize as autistic but who in the 1940's was mislabeled "retarded".

Though this combination memoir and true crime story feels slightly disjointed at times, the narrative of the murderer's life leading up to the crime is riveting and the details about the unique characters in Tirone Smith's large Catholic extended family are evocative and often laugh-out-loud funny.

She is best, though, in the poignant, honest, and lovely final chapters focusing on caring for her elderly father and her adult brother. Refreshingly honest about the inescapable guilt so many adult caregivers experience, Tirone Smith also captures beautifully the treasured moments of connection that can make years of caregiving meaningful. I especially appreciate the full portraits she draws of her parents and other family members, sketching their flaws as well as what made them loveable.

A great read for its period details from the 1940's and 1950's, and an especially recommended read for those whose families include adults with autism.
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I really loved this book! It was a great read. She is a brillant writer.