We gave it a B+
At 70, Maura Murphy — an Irish housewife with nine children — was diagnosed with lung cancer. She subsequently lost a lung, left her husband of 50 years, and decided to write a memoir. The result is Don’t Wake Me at Doyle’s, an artless but harrowing record of grinding poverty, nonstop pregnancy, addictions, and a bitterly unhappy marriage. (On sex: ”It was no more enjoyable than collecting a bucket of water from the pump or doing a load of washing.”) According to Murphy, her husband was a feckless alcoholic who beat her, cheated on her, and left bottles of pee lying around the bedroom in the wake of his frequent benders. Though this rambling book lacks polish, Murphy manages to convey a lifetime of rancor and misery in this depressing and brutally effective autobiography.