Since Tara Clancy's parents divorced, and much of the story focuses on her mother's side, the book's title could also be the Riccobonos of Queens. Clancy is an Irish- and Italian-American working class whose Irish side perhaps is better represented in her colorful story-telling. Then again, she gets her dirty mouth from her Italian grandmother about whom she closes her "In Loving Memory" section after the acknowledgments and before the bio.
And to the boss-lady herself, my hero, Rosalie "Che cazzo!" Riccobono, here's hoping you're in heaven, telling everyone to fuck off.
Through nature or nurture or both, Tara Clancy is what is now known as a "spirited" child from toddlerhood.
Damnit. I only bookmarked two passages, so I can't tell you much more. I was dazzled by these two images, though.
The ring is our front yard, a splotch of grass split in half by a cement path and hemmed by a short and shabby chain-link fence that surrounds both our houses;
and on the next page
Broad Channel is a bread crumb of an island between Howard Beach and Rockaway, with a single through street, Cross Bay Boulevard, and cross streets that dead-end in the water.
The word and phrase that get me are "hemmed" and "bread crumb." Clancy sneaks the domestic into physical descriptions of her father's dwelling, where she spent many of the weekends of her primary school years. "Hemmed in" is a phrase you see often, but "hemmed" typically (unless it's paired with "hawed") only refers to shortening clothing, something that indicated that the fit wasn't right at first, or that Clancy was too big for it.
"Bread crumb" appeals to me in its invitation to follow along, or that the island will take you bake somewhere.
Clancy is a tough kid in a tough town, whose tragectory may have been influenced by the presence of her mother's richie rich boyfriend in her life. With Mark, Tara learns to talk of philosphy...and to put her condiments in ramekins, rather than directly on the table. Clancy credits the late-night talks with Mark with how she was able to fall in love with Shakespeare's King Lear one day in high school. At first her teacher didn't believe her, and then the teacher enrolled Clancy in AP English. Clancy didn't come from a family of college-goers, though her mother did earn a BA at St. Francis in Brooklyn, over her mother's opposition.
Clancy's mother is practical, as well as educated. She figures out her daughter's sexuality long before Clancy does, and tries to ease her way into it, by introducing Clancy to her butch BF from college. Hilarity ensues, and Clancy is still a few ways from getting it.
Clancy is a roughneck smartie, and her autobiography is a quick, enjoyable read. After you finish it, you'll want to listen to her storytelling podcasts.