Frank makes a band with his brother and his friend Billy. He cuts out hearts from one of his mom's dresses and uses them to make part of the band's uniforms. While he is looking for the dress, he finds his birth certificate and it says he was born 6 months after his parents got married, and wonders if he is a love child. Frank has a neighbor named Mr. Hannon. He needs help delivering coal to make a living, so Frank helps him. One day Frank's eyes got really irritated because of the dust from the coal, and Angela wouldn't let him work. Mr. McCourt comes home for Christmas, and after coming home a day late, the only gift he gives the family a half eaten box of chocolates. By this time, Angela owes rent for many many weeks. They have to conserve energy and burn one of the walls in order to make firewood to keep the family warm, beceause they have no other way to pay for anything. One of the boys knocks the beam that holds the ceiling up, and the ceiling starts to collapse. The landlord see's all of the damage that has been done, and evicts the family. The family then goes to live with Angela's cousin, who is pretty stable, financially. When they get their, her cousin's husband makes Angela clean his chamber pot, which is very embarrassing. Also, the family continues to fall apart. Grandma dies, Uncle Tom and his wife die, and Malachy leaves for the Army School of Music. Frank goes to the library quite frequently. The Librarian realizes how intelligent he is, and tells this to Angela. She also says that he should continue school. Angela then takes him to a Catholic school to ask about schooling, but the priest says there is no room there for Frank. Frank then gets a job as a telegram messenger. This job seems intriguing to him.
My reaction to this chapter is that it is very sad, and the family’s luck continues to go downhill. The McCourt family seems to have only encountered sad times throughout Frank’s life, at least this far into the memoir. His father continues to be an alcoholic, the family is still short on money, and still moving from place to place. Even reading about the conditions his family lived in disgusts me. I cannot even imagine living the way they did; with lice in the house, my mother being sick all the time, my family members dying, not being able to pay the rent, etc. I think the McCourt family, (or what’s left of them) must have been very strong in order to deal with all of this. Somehow they always seem to get through the tough times and in many situations look at the positive side of things. I give them a lot of credit for this, because given their situation; it would be easy to be pessimistic. This memoir uses very good imagery. Sometimes I feel like I am living in the same world that the McCourts are living. I find myself feeling sorry for the family, and wishing there was something I could do to help them. So far, this book has kept my attention, for the most part, but it is so detailed that sometimes I get a little side-tracked.