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Title: Chip On My Shoulder
Author: Genevieve O'Reilly Allen
Category: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spiritual
Price: $15.00
Language: English
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Number of Pages: 213
ISBN Number: 1591964415
Publication Date: December 2003

About this Book:

Chip On My Shoulder is a story of the "army years" of Mickey O'Reilly. It begins when Mickey graduates nursing school and enlists in the Army Nurses Corps. Mickey heads off to war with her head in the stars, sustained by her faith in God and ready to use her abilities to heal both wounded bodies and souls in Italy and Africa during World War II. Her memoir is both humorous and dead serious as she touches on every day life in an evacuation hospital where sometimes the army brass and red tape combine to set her Irish temper flaring. Mickey recounts her life and the lives of those who shared her tent, latrine and mess - with her heart wide open and sometimes her foot in her mouth. At 84 years young, she still puts her money where her mouth is and not only has been in jail for protesting her beliefs, but she admits that she would live her life over exactly the same if given the chance again. The book is a fast read. You will laugh and you may cry but you will not forget it.

About the Author:

Mickey Allen was born Genevieve Inez O’Reilly on August 12, 1919 in Brooklyn, NY. She was the youngest of five children, and the only girl. In September, 1939, she entered nurses’ training in Norwegian Lutheran Hospital, Brooklyn. She was sworn in as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps on February 18, 1942. She served as a member of the “Fighting 74th” in both Italy and Africa. Mickey married James Allen on November 10, 1945. She received an honorable discharge later that year. They settled in Hartford, CT, where they raised eight girls and one boy. Jim died in 1975. Mickey continues to live in the home where she raised their family. She enjoys being with her twenty four grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. She is a member of “Veterans for Peace” and is actively involved in the peace movement and other social issues.

Book Review:

Mickey Allen has written a story about her experiences as a young World War II Army nurse in North Africa and Italy and as a peace activist more recently. In the spirit of Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, Chip on My Shoulder is a touching, often hilarious, and always page turning memoir about the absurdities of war and the conflicts that arise when individual conscience rubs against the grain of military thinking and bureaucracy. The title, "Chip on My Shoulder" is really a metaphor for the thread that runs through the book and the writer’s life: the inability to just go along and get along and stay quiet in the face of injustice. After raising a family of nine children that chip on O’Reilly’s shoulder returns with a vengeance. Her years in the peace movement, innumerable arrests, and moving accounts of jail time are told with wit and insight and humor. I can’t even count the number of times I laughed out loud while reading this book.

Order/Contact Info: Mimi 772-692-8796 Mickey 860-956-2668

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