After his mother's death, Lally enjoys two years of contentment. All this comes to an end when Dada remarries and they move to a farm. Eight-year-old Lally is now one of nine children. Things aren't easy, Dada is often away and Mam seems distant, cold and harsh. This story about growing up reads like a biography and is in turns moving, funny and bleakly sad. Lally's relationship with his stepmother is a central theme. Surprisingly he becomes her favourite, though this mature understanding between them comes rather late in the day.
I had to arrange all of Auntie Leg's shoes for her. She kept them under the bed, hundreds of them. I didn't mind the shoe arranging, in fact it was quite enjoyable finding the matching pairs... What I minded was the thought of the bed coming down on top of me. Auntie Leg was a very big woman... You wanted to ask her not to move about so much because she was going to bring the whole world down on top of you, but you couldn't draw Aunt Leg's size to her attention... But the day I had to empty her potty, I thought that was enough.