Irish America: Coming Into Clover - Maureen Dezell The first time I read Coming Into Clover, I distinctly remember the ending, specifically the way I bolted down the hall, shoved it in my mother's face, and exclaimed, "Read this! It'll feel familiar!" Good times.

My family doesn't identify as Irish American (or anything, really), but I'll be damned if Dezell didn't present a spot on description of every family gathering I've ever rolled my eyes through. From the lightning quick biting wit to the "that's a feeling and we don't talk about feelings" attitude to the Sunday mornings at Mass to the love-hate relationship with alcohol, I spent the pages laughing with recognition or occasionally squirming as she hit a little too close to home on some of the more uncomfortable aspects of the culture. Dezell pulls no punches and doesn't shy away from some of the nastier habits of the culture (the blind eye regarding alcoholism, the racism that marks a cultural history and always seems to pop up in that one family member you wish would just go away, the unfortunate habit certain people have of wearing green checked pants, etc), but she also presents the impressive aspects of a culture you might not even have realized you had, ticking off the positives in a way that can make a reader proud. Dezell presents a wide range of sources and view points, and she does so with a quick, engaging style that makes me suspect she can also claim the charm and "gift of blather" that she expounds within her own pages.