Valley of the Squinting Windows
By: Brinsley MacNamara (1890-1963)
The Valley of the Squinting Shadows was the author's first novel and proved controversial. In it, he tells a realistic tale of life in a small Irish town as he saw it, rather than the romanticized version told by others, or how the locals wished to be seen. Mrs. Brennan, the local dressmaker, has opinions. Her son is off studying to become a priest, which elevates him -- and thus her -- in her opinion. Mr. Brennan is forgiven all his transgressions, on account of being father to the son. Mrs. Brennan is less tolerant of those not related to her and her acerbic tongue is well-known throughout the village. Imagine the villagers' satisfaction when young John Brennan doesn't quite follow the path anticipated by his mother!