Tracy, Honor - The First Day of Friday. Methuen. 1963 reprint. This is a tale of human bondage. Like any sane young Irishman Michael Duff wishes to emigrate, to live in freedom and plenty with the woman of his choice. Instead he must struggle along in grinding poverty as the master of an old decaying house twenty times too big and as the landlord of an extensive encumbered estate, with a distracted mother as his sole companion. His life is further embittered by an appalling servant, Atracta, three generations of whose dreaful family have served the masters of George-town much as she does herself. He frequently dismisses her, but she will never leave. Only two people on earth can tame this creature, Fr Behan by dint of his exalted office, and Alfie Smith, he husband, with the help of his belt: Fr Behan all but loses his mind over her and Smith is removed from the scene in circumstances harrowing to contemplate. Michael Duff is too much of a gentleman simnply to cut and run. What he craves is a valid excuse, some accident or misfortune involving him in such expense as will make it impossible for him to continue. It seems he may have this when Atracta goes to law with him, bringing what must be one of the zaniest actions in legal history and onw hcih his lawyer assures him she will win. But her success will depend on her being free to use her imagination in the witness-box; and at the crucial moment Fr Behan takes a hand regarding this, with dire results for the defendent. The story ends with Michael and his fiancee in despair, Fr Behan with a total nervous break-down, Alfire Smith in goal and Atracta in the plentitude of he powers and with a second batch of triplets on the way, on top to the world. (flap). 8" x 5", 192pp, green cloth, gold blocking, hardback.
Ex-library (lending slip and cards attached to front-free endpaper); good, sound copy; complete with very good wrapper; not price-cut.
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