Emails from an Irish Mother by Helen Leahy

Is Mammy a Saint or a Sinner?
This mother keeps a watchful eye on her brood wherever they are in the world.

Mammy is the Irish mother of six and lives in Cork.
As is often the case with Irish families, 3 of the children live abroad; Pearse in Australia, Kay in New York and Deirdre in London. Xavier and Marie still live at home and Paul is married with 4 children and lives in Cork.
Mammy keeps in touch with the children abroad by regular email. She considers herself to be very modern and while she is proud of her children she also likes to point out their faults on a frequent basis.
As the firstborn son Xavier is the apple of her eye and he still lives at home with Mammy, Daddy and Marie. Xavier is gay, but Mammy doesn’t know this and is confident that he will settle down with some lucky girl eventually.
Mammy likes to improve her mind and tries all sorts of classes and courses but as she knows everything already she does not last long at any.
Mammy has her own brand of logic and outlook on life is unique.
Here is an excerpt from a year in the life and world of Mammy.

  • Classification: Universal
  • Work is: Extract only on Authonomy
  • First submitted Nov. 19, 2009
  • Last updated Nov. 19, 2009
Emails from an Irish Mother
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  • Retired user
    Five Go Glamping [Retired] wrote 3 years ago

    Hi Helen, I see you have not been about on authonomy for a while, but I came across your book and it had me laughing out loud, so I thought I'd leave a comment anyway as you may get it by email. Thanks loads for a great read!

  • Retired user
    Burgio [Retired] wrote 5 years, 1 month ago

    This is a charming story. Your readers will see a lot of their own mother in Mammy’s constant nagging; makes this a funny read. Spreading the children al over the world gives it extra depth. I’m adding it to my shelf. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

  • Jim Darcy's avatar
    Jim Darcy wrote 5 years, 7 months ago

    Happy to show my support until this gets in real print! Jim D Serpent's Blood

  • Retired user
    MarkRTrost [Retired] wrote 5 years, 7 months ago

    Very funny and as a descendant of many an irishman ... very accurate. My Mother isn't like this - my great aunts were. Well done

    Mark R. Trost "Post Marked"

  • Jupiter Echoes's avatar
    Jupiter Echoes wrote 5 years, 9 months ago

    At first glance i thought the emails wouldn't work...
    how wrong i was...
    the premise had me smiling... the emails fearing.... thank god my mom ain't like this.
    Still, i had to smile throughout, and completely forgot all the things i should be looking for...
    testament, i think, to you ability.


  • klouholmes's avatar
    klouholmes wrote 5 years, 9 months ago
    Hi Helen, Hilarious. And the type of thing that unravels, as with Gary and the Chinese woman reading the email. Then I found myself laughing hard every so often. Mammy's awareness of so many things, such as searching for Xavier via his mobile location, when she doesn't have experience out there - it's very revealing in these emails. Such conversations can become so confused in kitchens and the mother usually being respected. I appreciated there being a number of her ...
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  • Retired user
    Legirl Author wrote 5 years, 9 months ago

    Hello and thanks or the comments. It amazes me that the people who would perhaps but the book all seem to love it but the publisher who would sell it just don't. I will keep on trying though.

  • andyroo's avatar
    andyroo wrote 5 years, 9 months ago
    This is so appealing because of the nosy, voyeuristic nature of humans - we love it! In the same way that fly on the wall documentaries and real-life game shows are the most popular thing on tele, this should be an easy hit with the great british public. It's funny too, in such a way that it isn't trying to be at all, which makes the humour that much more accessible. Original and yet so familiar, this should be easy ...
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  • Retired user
    Legirl Author wrote 5 years, 9 months ago

    Failte Cait
    Of course you can send the link to anyone you like really. I did get as far as the Editorial Meeting with Poolbeg but they said that due to the recession they were sticking with the tried and tested formula a nd if there was no recession they would publish it. To be honest I haven't sent it off much lately as although people who read it love it publisher do not. Thanks for your lovely comments.

  • Cait's avatar
    Cait wrote 5 years, 9 months ago
    Helen, saw your post in the Pitch thread, and must say what a delight it is to come across such a witty book. Would you mind if I sent a link to my sister? What a let-down you had with that darn publisher going bust, eh? I hope you're sending it out to others. Have you tried Poolbeg Press in Dublin? Thanks for the laugh. :) Must rush now. I want to get back to more emails from Mátair. ;o) ...
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  • Rosali Webb's avatar
    Rosali Webb wrote 5 years, 9 months ago

    Christ! Doesn't she go on? Sounds just like my own mother. But there is something catchy about these ramblings. It would be something to pick up and read inserts if you are pushed for time, and then get completely nosey and wrapped up in the whole theme. Backed
    Rosali/Fieldtrip to Mars

  • Retired user
    DDickson [Retired] wrote 5 years, 9 months ago

    I wa about to read another book and saw your title in the comments - you clever aul thing you had me caught with that straight away didn't you so. This is lovely and really appeals to the voyeur in me, I know I am a bad person. Loved it to bits - shelved - Diane (3 things that might have happened)

  • soutexmex's avatar
    soutexmex wrote 5 years, 9 months ago

    Because of your personal comment to me - SHELVED!

    I can use your comments on my book when you get a chance. Cheers!

    The Obergemau Key

  • Retired user
    Legirl Author wrote 5 years, 9 months ago

    Thanks for your comments everyone. As I am new to this site does anyone have any advice on ho to get more people to read my book or do I just wait for other people to find me?

  • Leigh Fallon's avatar
    Leigh Fallon wrote 5 years, 9 months ago
    Hi Helen Firstly I nearly cried reading your profile, its practically impossible to get published and you were so close. Fingers crossed for you that its just a blip and you'll be back in paper very soon. This certainly deserves it, its as funny as hell. Being Irish and living in Cork I could really see all of this in action. Just one thing that hit me the minute I opened the book and started reading. You have Eircom spelt ...
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  • Harclubs's avatar
    Harclubs wrote 5 years, 9 months ago

    Dear Helen,
    Your extremely funny collection of emails from your dear old Ma brought a tear to my eye and a fresh determination to keep my Mum away from the Internet.

  • C.P.'s avatar
    C.P. wrote 5 years, 9 months ago

    This is wonderful. And is a prefect example why no one should give their mother their email address. What a delight to read. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this. Mothers of a certain age, should be adopted out. Best of luck and on my shelf. Connie

  • Francis Albert McGrath's avatar
    Francis Albert McGrath wrote 5 years, 9 months ago

    I don't know where you came up with the imagination to write these, but this is truly brilliant - really funny. You've got the Irish Mammy down to a T. Shelved.

  • Retired user
    Somerset [Retired] wrote 5 years, 9 months ago

    I'm not sure how one writes in an Irish accent, but you've managed to do it. So funny, and such an accurate picture of family politics (of any nationality.) I will be reading more. Shelved.

  • paxie's avatar
    paxie wrote 5 years, 9 months ago
    Helen Hillarious....It reminds me of the Walsh family.....created by Marian Keyes........ For this to be a commercial success I think you would need to punctuate with paragraphs of Mammy and Daddy's life at home, via dialogue.....Beef it out to a story with some sort of plot development.....Like a kind of Shirley Valentine by computer.....Mammy lives her life through her family at the moment....Maybe she could blossom, discovering the outside world from her computer screen.... *meals on wheels *sex toys *an ...
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