Girls of Tender Age, by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith Book Review

The book, “Girls of Tender Age, by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith  tries to articulate with great wit as well as tenderness on the wild jubilance in relation to an  extended French and Italian family, which struggles to survive after the second world war housing project located in Hartford. Smith’s Hartford vicinity is small-town in America, where every person door remains unlocked with the school, grocery, drugstore, and tavern all at a walking distance. At the same time, the family is full of people with unforgettable characters with her probably psychic mother who seems to be on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

The author’s adorable father ensures there is something for her to eat in the morning with her grandfather teaching her bashing of the eels head the catch on the island. There is her brother called, Tyler in the Smith’s household who seemed different. The situation makes it difficult for Little Mary-Ann to have friends because of her autistic older brother .The sound of phones ringing, crying and laughing was painful to him. he would therefore substitute the  pain with trying  to chew his arm.

Tyler was little Mary-Ann’s equivalent of Boo Radley, even if he was the one whose bookshelves sagged because of the World War II books weights he often collected to read them obsessively. In the book, “Girls of Tender Age” the children seemed to have a rough time when they were growing up because Mickey together with Tyler were treated differently in terms of how children who were from loving parents needed to be treated. It is evident that their treatment is mostly affected by their lives in their adult life. This is because they lacked at least one parent who was a good parent unlike their father Yutch. On the other hand, their mother Florence was often absent and avoided her responsibilities as a mother. The story shows the impact of good or bad parenting on children.

In the book, the author does not show emotion   and have the usual childhood. This is because she is unable to play music or have friend to play with them with the author describing how it was to grow up in her childhood. It is a persistent response to catastrophe in their family as they could be no crying if it was not for Tyler, who was Mickey’s brother, five year’s older and suffers from autism. During that time, autism was considered a type of mental retardation as Tyler could not stand any nose and would start to bite his wrist anytime he heard noise.
Mickey feels   trapped and finds it difficult to understand how to deal with the whole situation because a normal healthy family gives one a chance to cry and express their feelings.

Although, Mickey had her father, who showed love his children a lot of love, he had no idea on how to tackle Tyler. However, Tyler often got his way regardless of anything because it seems much easier as Mickey experienced abandonment. This is because her mother was often working or the mother was always at work or busy with her activities. It is evident that the mother seems to be avoiding Tyler’s behaviors demands; on the other hand, Mickey often took care of her brother for some hours until her father came back from work. At the same time, her mother showed symptoms of being abusive as Mickey’s mother tells him to shut up and get into the house.

The beauty, power as well as a remarkable wit as Mary-Ann intertwine bittersweet portrait of growing up evident among the working stiffs in the 1950s Hartford. The chilling growth of a serial pedophile tends to threatens to break her small town’s purity. In the book, Smith lovingly seems to evoke the jubilant and chaotic life in her French and Italian family with the challenges of taking care of her brother Tyler, who is an autistic during that time nobody understood autism. At the same time, hanging over Smith turbulent and rough youth is a shadow of an approaching killer who ceaselessly alters the childhood landscape. On the other hand, her father was a saint who devoted all of his life taking care of the author’s autistic big brother when nobody really understood Tyler condition.

Smith seems to construct a rational narrative because of events, which she merely understood poorly during that time. It is obviously hard enough to reconstruct an event from a person’s childhood in such circumstances. The task of reform was made challenging for Smith as the adults around her tragedy adopted a clumsy means of dealing with tragedy on children involved such as Tyler. The story shows the impact of good or bad parenting on children. In the book, the author does not show emotion   and have the usual childhood. Nevertheless, the author and the father was a saint in terms of devoted all of his life in taking care of Tyler autistic big brother when nobody really understood Tyler condition.