I'll Know It When I See It by Alice Carey
A Daughter's Search for Home in Ireland

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As a young girl, Alice Carey realized that “home” can mean different things. The only child of poor Irish immigrants, her isolated childhood in a cold-water flat in Queens is transformed when her mother becomes the maid to legendary Broadway producer Jean Dalrymple. In Miss Dalrymple’s Upper East Side townhouse, young Alice absorbs with delight a sophisticated theatrical culture that includes encounters with such notables as Jed Harris and Marilyn Monroe. Then, a visit to Ireland with her mother thrusts the girl into another novel culture, one that simultaneously enchants and traumatizes her.

When Alice returns to Ireland as an adult, she and her husband serendipitously find and fall in love with a ruined Georgian farmhouse. As they begin to convert the stables into a livable cottage, Alice unearths buried memories of a childhood played out in wildly divergent homes. I’ll Know It When I See It is the witty and rueful examination of her struggles to make sense of—and peace with—her recollections of a bittersweet past. It is a book certain to appeal to anyone who’s ever loved, lost, and reclaimed a home of their own.

About Alice Carey

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Alice Carey, a former substitute schoolteacher and musical theater performer, has written for a variety of publications. She divides her time between New York City and West Cork, Ireland. This is her first book.
Published February 19, 2002 by Clarkson Potter. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Humor & Entertainment, Travel. Non-fiction

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Carey’s debut is at once an Irish home-reconstruction comedy, a requiem for Fire Island friends, and a treasury of Broadway gossip, all for the love of Mammie.

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Publishers Weekly

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While ostensibly the story of an Irish-American woman's return to the rural country of her forebears, Carey intercuts the story of choosing and restoring a Georgian-Irish "ruin" with her difficult childhood and adolescence in Astoria, Queens, with her sporadically violent janitor father and overw...

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