In Paraffin Lamp Days, Ann Gardiner has tackled the difficult, but intrinsically Irish, short story genre. Many of the stories in this book, while fiction, are based on actual people and events of the era in which the author grew up. Those were the days of thinning the turnips, taking milk to the creamery and threshing the corn when the meitheal were called on to help. Times when their hard work was rewarded by a night of dancing and singing in the kitchen and maybe a mug of porter and tea for the ladies: or when a visitor was roped in to say their decade of the rosary!
This heart-warming, sparklingly beautiful book is evocative of an era of innocence long gone with the wind. It will make you laugh and maybe even elicit a tear. A part of our past that was delightful, sad, poignant, beautiful and humorous has been skillfully and evocatively captured and brought to life by one of my favourite authors, from whom, I suspect we shall hear so much more.