The Rising Son: The story of a boy, a pub, a war and a remarkable woman

Prisoners of the Rising Sun
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Try the Goi Cuon, a spring roll packed with greens, some type of minced meat shrimp, crab or pork and coriander. If you have a sweet tooth like we do, definitely try the fried bananas, desert soup or caramel pudding. The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology acts as a keeper of the said cultural diversity of different ethnic groups in Vietnam. Many of those communities are working together with the museum. The popularity and vibrancy of the Museum is largely due to the contribution and involvement of communities.

The rush of traffic packed Hanoi can be overwhelming even to locals who are accustomed to the fast pace of the city. Hanoi has a lot of rooftop bars, and most of them offer the same type of atmosphere. Imagine a lounge, with modern music in the background, amazing cocktails and a degree view of all Hanoi.

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The son of the founder says that his father inspired to make up the recipe as milk was scarce in Vietnam and they were replacing milk with egg yolk. Ahh yes, bia hoi. One of our favourites when talking about what to do in Hanoi. Let us start off with the fact that Vietnam is the perfect place for a pub crawl. Bia Hoi is an insight into the beer scene of Vietnam.

Bia Hoi is known as a street beer. Vietnam boasts as having a unique drinking culture that can only be found in northern cities of Vietnam. In order not to get spoiled it must be consumed on the day of production. Because of this Hanoi and its surrounding areas are the only places you can find Bia Hoi! According to the tale an heirless Emperor had a dream in which he met a goddess of sorts name Avalokiteshvara which gifted him with a baby boy that was resting on a lotus flower.

The lotus blossom also symbolizes enlightenment in Buddhism. Present day, the wooden pagoda is supported by a concrete pillar as replacement for the original one. The original wooden pillar was destroyed by the French.

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It is 15 km in circumference and is surrounded by upper-class suburbs as well as the Tay Ho expat district. It is a very popular destination as it makes for a nice change from the hectic pace of Old Quarter. The lake offers an opportunity to visit temples off the beaten path or to enjoy a cup of coffee or a refreshing beer whilst admiring the lake. Because of the lush fauna surrounding the pagoda, it makes for one most photographed sights in Hanoi.

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Back when the rice paddy fields got flooded the villagers would draw entertainment from the dire situation. The puppets are controlled by eight puppeteers hiding behind a bamboo screen. The shows are usually short sketches or they play out some of the Vietnam legends such as, the legend of the Restored Sword of King Le and the giant tortoise. The live music plays a vital part of the show with singers yelling out words of encouragement to the puppets. Good news is that Vietnamese cuisine is simple.

There are many different classes on offer, you can learn village, pagoda vegetarian, seafood, monsoon, pho and bun cha. A lot of those cooking classes even have a market tour!

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Book it on Get Your Guide. At stores at Bat Trang you will see ceramic products displayed in different shapes, styles and colours. There is a wide array of choices, from daily items as pots, plates and cups they also sell interior decorations, religious items, jewellry etc. You can apply for one of ceramic workshops and create a handmade ceramic product of your own! After you create your own ceramic product cup, pot and bowls are easiest to make it takes an hour to dry and then you can decorate it with available colours.

Nowadays, most of these 36 streets are in Old Quarter and have kept the names that reflect the specialised businesses they once housed. These streets have a 1, year old history. In the past, the craftsmen who came to Hanoi from villages formed guilds among other artisans specialising in the same trade. Each of the guild had its own street in the Old Quarter where its members lived, built workshops and sold their trades. As we mentioned before, the original layout of the streets still exists.

Many of them still specialised in the original crafts they were named after while some transgressed in more modern merchandise. The wall was built with the th anniversary of Hanoi in October The whole idea was born because of Nqyen Thu Thuy. With rich history and folk art that can be traced back to the Stone Age, it was a logical blend of the two.

The preparations started in and artists from not only Vietnam but all over the world contributed in making this idea a reality. The decorative patterns used represent a visual history of the country throughout different eras. By far the most popular hostel in Hanoi, and for good reason! This is a sociable hostel. The bar is absolutely crazy every single night, they offer free beer to guests and the drink specials are fantastic.

Thousands of life-long friendships have been formed inside this hostel. Their tour desk is also excellent, and their Halong Bay cruise, known as the Castaway Tour, is infamous amongst backpacker circles as being the funnest way to explore this beautiful place. They have excellent dorm rooms with different sizes, from 6 to 12 beds, and even have female-only dorms. Book it on Hostelworld. The rooms are massive, the beds huge and luxurious, and the service is top quality.

Book it on Agoda. While some of the other popular options like the Sofitel are definitely incredible, we personally love the fantastic views and enormous rooms that the 5-star Lotte Hotel Hanoi has to offer. Here elegance comes with a distinct Vietnamese flair, and the suites in particular will have you wishing you could just live here forever. If you want to be in the Old Quarter, stay at the Sofitel. The staff here are also some of the best in the hotel business in the entire city, and they have really set the standard for how guests should be treated anywhere in the world.

What would you add? Leave a comment below and let us know! I like to bring them there. In Hanoi this week. Looking forward to visiting the places mentioned. Return to Book Page. Preview — Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man's journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit. On a May afternoon in , an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit.

On a May afternoon in , an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane's bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title.

Louie Zamperini , Russell Allen Phillips. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Unbroken , please sign up. Why isn't this book told from Louie's point of view? Wouldn't it make it more interesting? Marji Morris Anytime you use a first person narrator, it makes the story more "immediate" but you lose perspective. You can only tell what that character sees and …more Anytime you use a first person narrator, it makes the story more "immediate" but you lose perspective.

You can only tell what that character sees and hears. By using a 3rd person narrator, the author can give other info she gleaned from her research. It's a tough call to decide which narrator will do the job best in a given book. I read this article, but would like someone else's take, was it interesting beyond the brutality? Ktwski I certainly don't like brutality in books or movies, but this may be the best book I have ever read!

Some of the more brutal parts were difficult to …more I certainly don't like brutality in books or movies, but this may be the best book I have ever read! Some of the more brutal parts were difficult to get through, but it was a horrific war, and any attempt to make it less so would have dimished the book and what our servicemen endured. Great book, with a happy ending. See all 56 questions about Unbroken…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews.

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Nov 24, Kemper rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , usa-usa , history , biography , military , , over-there , war. I was cleaning up after the wife and I had dinner last night and there was a small amount of green beans left. I was disgusted with myself for the rest of the night. You kno I was cleaning up after the wife and I had dinner last night and there was a small amount of green beans left. Louie Zamperini is one of those guys who definitely earned that Greatest Generation label. The son of Italian immigrant parents, Louie was a rebellious kid who was constantly into one form of mischief or another, but when he finally channeled his energy into running, he became a high school track star in California.

Louie left college and ended up in the air corps even though he was scared of planes. He became a bombardier and went to the Pacific after Pearl Harbor. Louie survived several missions, including one where their B barely made it back with over holes in it. Starved, beaten, tortured and degraded, Louie also faces extra punishment at the hands of a brutally sadistic guard who singled him out. Louie and the other prisoners desperately try to hang on long enough for America to win the war and free them. She also does a superior job of describing a phase of World War II that tends to get overlooked, Japanese war crimes against prisoners.

The number of prisoners killed by the Japanese through starvation, beatings and forced labor are staggering, but Hillenbrand also shines a light on the Japanese policy of killing all POWs if that area was about to be invaded. Per her research, they were preparing to begin slaughtering prisoners in Japan in late August and September of , but the dropping of the atomic bombs and the surrender of the emperor probably saved those POWs lives. If the war would have carried on or a conventional invasion done, then mostly likely those prisoners would have been killed.

She writes that many of the POWs believed that the bombings probably saved their lives and leaves it at that. Ultimately, while this is a book about people enduring incredible hardship and cruelty during war, it's a hopeful book, not a depressing one. Great writing and the care that Hillenbrand took with the people and places make this compelling reading.

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As soon as the thought came to him, he fought it back, blaming the whiskey. And a terrific shudder, the plane had been hit. I looked for a way out, I really did. Bartlet : Well, if it's what we do, if it's what we've always done, don't they know we're going to do it? Other Editions Do you know this? Toby : "The era of big government is over.

Shelves: memoir-biography. Hillenbrand has broken the unwritten code for Americans to downplay the wrongs of the Japanese during World War II other than Pearl Harbor in favor of focusing on the egregious acts of the Nazis. My education in World War II history has focused on the Holocaust and the unforgivable damage we did to Japan by unleashing the atomic bomb. I appreciate all the research Hillenbrand did to bring us the other side of the story.

Louis Zamperini is my new hero. I loved his charisma and endurance, both of Hillenbrand has broken the unwritten code for Americans to downplay the wrongs of the Japanese during World War II other than Pearl Harbor in favor of focusing on the egregious acts of the Nazis. I loved his charisma and endurance, both of which shined through in Hillenbrand's meticulous writing.

I haven't been this invested in non-fiction in a long time. Even when she was talking about airplane design I was enthralled. And even though I figured Zamperini had to have survived his ordeal to give Hillenbrand an interview, I was still anxious about his survival. My favorite part of Louis' story is view spoiler [his journey to forgiveness and healing through his conversion to Christianity, especially his willingness to meet with The Bird and offer unconditional forgiveness hide spoiler ].

How inspiring and moving, his whole story, but especially his life after the war. I don't think I can pick up another book for a few days. I need to let this one settle before I delve into fiction that will feel meaningless after this. View all 32 comments. Apr 02, Laura rated it liked it Shelves: tigard-library , somehow-usc-related , military , non-fiction , running. Wow am I in the minority.

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I absolutely loved Seabiscuit , so I expected great things from this one. However, where Seabiscuit focused narrowly on a small set of characters and events, this was more sprawling, bursting with a poorly-sketched cast of characters who, over time, became nearly indistinguishable. For most of the middle section, the book wore me down with its unrelenting catalogue of abuse and privation. On a related note, I wasn't crazy about the fact that the book endlessly described Wow am I in the minority.

On a related note, I wasn't crazy about the fact that the book endlessly described what was happening to Zamperini, as opposed to what was going through his mind, what gave him hope, etc. As other reviewers have noted, although listed as non-fiction, the book suffers from potentially unreliable narration, as most details were reported to the author some 50 years after the fact.

After that long, memories of events dim or, conversely, are embellished. Indeed, some details felt a bit off to me for instance, Zamperini described being tangled up in wires and going down with his plane when he blacked out; he was miraculously free of all encumbrances when he came to. A huge detail that seemed off was Zamperini's redemption at the end: it didn't make sense to me that Zamperini's problems with alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder, and rage, fueled by years of the aforementioned abuse and privation, were all completely and conveniently cured by a couple of hours listening to the preaching of Billy Graham.

To be honest, I thought this plot point tends to demean veterans' struggles generally. But the book moved along at a brisk pace and held my attention. I feel like I learned a lot about an aspect of American and WWII history that may be overlooked the experiences of POWs in Japan was never covered in any of my high school or college history classes. So for that I give this book an enthusiastic 3 stars. View all comments. Well, brace yourself because here comes another one.

This book is a poorly written, exaggerated, sensationalized version of a true story, an over-hyped pop history book more concerned with drumming home the message that the human spirit can be indestructible in the face of extreme adversity a pet theme for the author it seems than in being a tight and accurate biography of a war hero. The third is the account of his B bomber crash, subsequent loss at sea, capture by the Japanese, and the endless rounds of torture and beatings. The fourth and last part is his rescue life after the War and finding God with Billy Graham. How can this be made boring?

Well, it can if your prose never rises above a dull, rambling, ill-constructed narrative about how this event happened, then this one did, and then this thing happened after that. The characters in the book are so shallow and one-dimensional, hardly a one is given more than a passing intro before the story bumbles on to the next thinly veiled anecdote. Apart from Louie and his family the only other characters that really stood out were his raft mate and best buddy Phil and his most sadistic prison guard dubbed The Bird. The reader is subjected to dozens of "last sightings" of The Bird only to have him "shockingly" resurface in the most unlikely of situations a chapter later.

You know the kind of scene I mean: "And Louie looked up at the new arrival only to discover once again —" Dah dum duuuuuuum!!! It happens so often in fact you start to think of it as a good candidate for some kind of literary drinking game where you take a shot of bourbon every time he shows up. This thought kept rattling around my brain as I made my way through the book. How on earth could these things be recalled so clearly and precisely after all that time? Some soldiers, as Hillenbrand herself says in the book, forget the war entirely. These suspected filler bits are nothing compared to some of the fantastical events scattered throughout the book.

Zemperini is cheapened and the readers are dared not to roll their eyes as he is aggrandized and endlessly adulated from a man to a superhuman demi-god. He can withstand plane crashes, hourly beatings for over a year, prolonged starvation, backbreaking physical labor, diseases, and anything else that can be dished out.

Consider his scenes of fist-fighting sharks in open water, meeting Hitler after his Olympic race, running a mile -- in the fucking sand!! These personal achievements are apart from his sufferings in a group setting like enduring over punches in the face during one camp thrashing and moving 20 — 30 tons yes, TONS -- 40, to 60, U.

I imagine therein lies part of the reason why this book resonates so deeply with our intelligence-starved society today. I say hats off to Louis Zamperini and his fellow soldiers. A toast! I have nothing but bottomless admiration, respect, and gratitude for his service and am in awe of his mettle and perseverance. He is one tough-as-nails guy whose achievements should not be overlooked and never be forgotten. It just would have been nice if his story could have been told in a more honest and fair manner, letting the facts speak for themselves without all the earnest dramatization, unabashed hero worship, and hyperbole slathered so thickly over them.

His autobiography "Devil at My Heels" maybe? View all 27 comments. Jul 11, Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing Shelves: book-to-film. He was always finding creative ways to get himself in trouble. He was desperate for any attention. Causing trouble is one way to get it, another way is to become really, really good at something.

His brother Pete, a multi-sport star athlete, forced him into cross country and track in the hopes of keeping him out of trouble. He started winning races and then he started breaking records. I went out for cross country my senior year of high school not because I had a burning desire to run, but because I wanted to get in shape for basketball season. The football coach had visions of me being a tall, reasonably fast, wide receiver. I had visions of a helmet crashing into my knee ending not only a short lived football career, but also wiping out my penultimate season of basketball.

On the cross country team was a guy named Roger. His father had been an Olympic athlete. He had qualified for the games in Mexico, drank the water, and became too sick to compete. Roger had dreams of the Olympics in his future. I had a much smaller goal of improved stamina for basketball.

With Roger beating me easily every day at practice I was more worried about embarrassing myself. At this point I had no racing strategy, no thought except finishing two miles. The gun sounds, everybody takes off in a stampede. At about the one mile marker I started passing scads of runners who were flagging.

I was thinking am I outpacing myself here? Am I going to run out of gas? Then up ahead I caught a flash of Phillipsburg Panther blue. I could see Roger! He was duking it out with a pair of twins from a rival city. The stories that Zamperini told the author about runners elbowing, pushing, gouging When the finish line came into sight he kicked down the afterburners and won with ease.

I finished 6th out of 65 runners, suddenly running took on a new meaning for me. I was descended on by the local radio, television, and newspaper reporters. They asked me about the upcoming basketball season, a sport with a lot more interest to the community than cross country.

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The Rising Son: The story of a boy, a pub, a war and a remarkable woman eBook : James Kelso: Kindle Store. The Rising Son: The story of a boy, a pub, a war and a remarkable woman [ James Kelso] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Were you one.

I looked over at Roger who was sitting on the ground changing out of his running shoes. No one was asking him any questions. He told me later that he was just glad I was bringing some attention to the program. He was magnanimous, but I felt about four inches tall. Louis and Roger would have understood each other perfectly. They knew all they had to do was keep winning and eventually the world would notice.

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I never did learn to love running, but I did love competing. Laura Hillenbrand knows how to tell a story. Zamperini qualified in the meters by the skin of his teeth for the historic Olympic Games. Jesse Owens was the story that year. Zamperini finished eighth, but he was determined to return in and win a fist full of medals.

The wheel of fortune landed on a different fate for Louis Zamperini. B diagram World War Two put a crimp in many plans, dreams were put on hold, careers were set aside, and marriages were speeded up. Zamperini ended up a bombardier in a B The plane was called The Green Hornet and just like the movie by the same name it crashed and burned.

Three members of the crew survived and Zamperini was one of the fortunate few. The Bucket of Bolts that dropped the boys into the Pacific. I always love the airplane artwork. After drifting for months, surviving by sheer grit and determination, they are picked up as prisoners of war by the Japanese. Life has got to improve, right? The shark metamorphosis into a Bird, the Bird is Matsuhiro Watanabe. He is a psychopath who actually became sexually aroused beating up helpless prisoners.

When the movie comes out this guy is going to be known the world over as one of the sickest most despicable human beings to ever exist. The list of charges against him, at the end of the war, were a stream of paper eight feet long.

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They carried unspeakable memories of torture and humiliation, and an acute sense of vulnerability that attended the knowledge of how readily they could be disarmed and dehumanized. Like the Nazis the Japanese at this time were interested in the purity of their own race. They felt that as a superior race it was their place to rule all of Asia. They believed that to surrender was cowardly and dishonorable behavior. This belief led to some very erratic aggressive behavior by Japanese soldiers who would rather die than be taken prisoner.

He despised these American soldiers who had surrendered and he especially despised the officers. The Japanese guards were brutal and sadistic and at the end of the war many of them were prosecuted and executed. This changed as the Americans discovered that Japan would prove a valuable ally in the upcoming Cold War.

The prosecution of further war criminals became a political stumbling block and were stopped. I reached a point where I wondered why Louis Zamperini continued to want to live. He was too strong, too stubborn, too competitive to give up. They were kept in nervous, soul crushing suspense because a demented Corporal decided that the POWs under his command would not be able to write home. Laura Hillenbrand could have let the behavior of the Japanese guards weigh this book down into a horrific tale of depressing stories of physical and mental abuse, but though she does share a lot of those stories with us they are uplifted by the sheer determination of Zamperini not only to live, but to get one chance to wrap his hands around the neck of his tormentor.

This book had me considering who we are when we go to war. Why do so many leave their homes as fathers, husbands, brothers and become this shockingly terrifying person capable of the most sadistic behavior? War is hell. I know that, but there is a huge difference between killing someone in self defense on a battlefield and quite another to systematically, with creativity, torture people.

These soldiers are not criminals or murderers. These are normal people until they are put in a uniform; and then, somehow they transform into criminals and murderers. Laura Hillenbrand with Louis Zamperini Hillenbrand includes a plethora of pictures all placed in with the text so you can look at a picture of what she is describing as you read it. I wish more publishers would do this for more books.

It really enhances the experience. Hillenbrand is an excellent writer with a gift for storytelling. She adds in these wonderful details that really bring the story to life, so instead of waiting for the movie pick up the book and marvel at the capacity of humans to survive and bring their lives back from the brink of despair. Survival, Resilience, and Redemption are the subtitle of this book. You will end the book knowing and believing that Louis Zamperini exemplified all those qualities in the face of impossible odds. View all 88 comments. May 24, Hannah rated it it was amazing Shelves: reads , non-fiction , biography , historicals.

I've just finished this awesome book, and have since washed the tears from my face. Thank you. View all 13 comments. Mar 29, Will Byrnes rated it really liked it Shelves: american-history , biography , nonfiction , military-and-intelligence-non-fic. Louie Zamperini was quite a character, wild, given to mayhem and thievery, but he straightened out enough to become a world-class runner, joining the US team in the Berlin Olympics.

He continued his athletic career at USC, setting running records there, preparing for the next international competition. But the world would skip that event, leaving Louie adrift. He joined the military and washed out, but he was drafted back in after Pearl Harbor, as a bombardier.

Laura Hillenbrand - image from Flavorwire Louie and two other crew members would drift for an unthinkable duration before sighting land, struggling to collect potable water, desperate to catch fish and birds for food and terrified of being devoured by the constantly marauding sharks. Once they finally landed it was out of the frying pan and into the rising sun, as they were taken prisoner by the Japanese.

Enduring years of the beatings, deprivations, forced labor and humiliations that were daily fare in Japanese POW camps made their ocean voyage seem like a pleasure cruise. This is not only an amazingly researched book, with details that clearly took serious, serious digging to unearth, but Laura Hillenbrand is a gifted story-teller, as any who have read Seabiscuit can attest, and she brings her narrative skills to this remarkable, real-life tale. Having introduced Louie in the early chapters and providing reasons to care, she documents a relentless sequence of trials that he and his mates had to endure.

It does get a little repetitive, but there were times when the hairs on my arm stood up and saluted and I had to put the book down because the horrors these men faced were so frightening and upsetting. Think Jaws vs a rubber raft. But I was so captivated by the story that I dove right back in after a short break.

The unpleasantness of the Geneva-challenged WW II Japanese military was not news to me, but the details Hillenbrand provides gave that vision considerable depth. Where did that came out of? Everyone you meet knows someone you know, and sooner or later everyone knows your story. But all this bloody sunshine makes it much more difficult to be alone.

I constantly feel like I should be sitting with a group of friends in a beer garden or taking romantic seaside strolls. I should have thought about this before moving to Australia on my own. Maybe I should have gone to Seattle, I hear it rains a lot there. The recession was my official excuse for leaving but mostly I was trying to get away from my parents.

Birthdays are the worst. While she will remain forever 21, and perfect, I continue to age, with the croakiness and crankiness that that brings. We all wonder what she would be like if she were here. Would she have made it as an actress? Got married? Had kids? We picture a parallel universe, one with her in it. The Americans really buy into all that stuff. We never experienced that sort of psychic connection. That said, on the night she died, 3, miles across the Atlantic, I sat bolt upright in my bed at 4am, as if waking from one of those nightmares that has a silent scream at the end.

It was 11pm in New York, which I later learned was the time the taxi slammed into Molly as she walked home from a night out in Brooklyn. I had cut my summer short by returning to Dublin to repeat my oral Irish exam. That fact has haunted me for years. Even though I was at home while she was living it up in the Big Apple, the independence was freeing. In the months after, he turned up at my door late one night looking for a Molly-shaped shoulder to cry on.

I opened a bottle of wine and we sat up talking for hours. We kept most of our clothes on even when he was inside me, and we were ever so quiet although there was no-one to hear us, as if being quiet somehow made it less of a crime. As he sobbed into the crook of my neck, I wondered if my skin tasted like hers. I saw him a few times after, but we never found a way to talk about what happened.

After that, I tried changing my look, thinking it might be easier for everyone if I looked less like Molly. I cut my hair short and bleached it blonde, invested in a new wardrobe, ditching the jeans and hoodies we used to wear. Now here I am in Melbourne, with my new hair and my new clothes. This part of Brunswick Street reminds me of Brooklyn, with its vintage shops and cafes selling types of bitter-tasting coffee. But I barely have time to experience the pang Brooklyn brings before I hear a voice that unmistakably belongs to Deirdre McCarthy from school.

How are you doing? I came here to break free of the past, not to meet it for a pint in an Irish pub in St Kilda. In fact, I seem to think about Molly more than ever these days.