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Nonfiction

IN BRIEF

April 04, 1993|KAREN STABINER

THE VILLAGE by Alice Taylor (St. Martin's Press: $16.95; 160 pp.). This nonfiction memoir might as well be classified as fiction, given that it is the story of a faraway place: the small village of Innishannon, in County Cork, Ireland. It is the third volume of Alice Taylor's reminiscences, taking her from her childhood in the Irish countryside to life as a new bride, tending the village market and post office with her new husband. What happens to her is hardly remarkable: She has two children at a time when women regularly gave up their work to raise the family, has two more boys and then, finally, to her joy, a girl. She chafes a bit at the role of full-time wife and mother, and, once the last baby sleeps through the night, goes back to work with her husband, building a new supermarket for the growing village. What makes the story unique is Taylor's disarming style; she writes as though she were sitting next to you, at dusk, recounting the events of her week. A brief passage about an old man who the neighbors felt needed saving turns into a poignant look at the consequences of well-intentioned meddling. Taylor has a knack for finding the universal truth in daily details.

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