A brutally honest and deeply affecting memoir about growing up in the countryside in rebel country in Northern Ireland.
Colin Broderick was born in 1968 and spent his childhood in Tyrone county, in Northern Ireland. It was the beginning of the period of heightened tension and violence known as the Troubles, and Colin's Catholic family lived in the heart of rebel country. The community was filled with Provisional IRA members whose lives depended on the silence and complicity of their neighbors. At times, that made for a confusing childhood. We watch as he and his brothers play ball with the neighbor children over a fence for years, but are never allowed to play together because it is forbidden. We see him struggle to understand why young men from his community often just disappear. And we feel his confusion when he is held at gunpoint at various military checkpoints in the North. But even when Colin does ask his parents about these events, he never receives a clear explanation. Desperate to protect her children, Colin's mother tries to prevent exposure to or knowledge of the harm that surrounds them. Spoken with stern finality, "That's that" became the refrain of Colin's childhood.
The first book to paint a detailed depiction of Northern Ireland's Troubles is presented against a personal backdrop and is told in the wry, memorable voice of a man who's finally come to terms with his past.