The following review of The Irish Hungarian appears in the April 2012 print edition of Irish American News Ohio. It is authored by John O'Brien, the publication's co-founder, co-publisher and editor.
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I have been reading columnist Erin O'Brien's work for about five years, I think. She is not related to me, though we share a surname, and a belief in respecting other people's opinions when they are well thought out and respectful. Debating ideas is different than arguing, or insulting. Her writing is always thought provoking, and she never takes the easy way out.
I knew O'Brien's book would have controversial passages, opinions I don't agree with, but I also know she honestly presents what she believes. I don't have to agree with another's opinion to respect it—people often call that civil debate.
I loved The Irish Hungarian Guide to the Domestic Arts. Honest, straightforward, filled with laugh out loud stories and observations, I read the book in one sitting. O'Brien's humor is dead-on, and comes across in her writing; it is not easy to convey laughs to letters. Frank discussion of life, family traditions and food, the joys and tears of being married, of living with a view wider than just your own self, trademarks much of what 0'Brien writes. She has courage, and a willingness to engage the squirmy topics that you overcome, only by taking them on.
Like life, Erin O'Brien is not for the faint of heart, neither is her writing. You can handle it; get the book. The Irish Hungarian Guide to the Domestic Arts is a Top Shelf selection, highly recommended.
See more on Erin at a book signing on April 25th at Loganberry Books, 13015 Larchmere Boulevard, Shaker Heights, Ohio 44120.
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