Book Jacket


rank 5919
word count 10449
date submitted 19.11.2009
date updated 03.01.2010
genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Popular Cultu...
classification: universal

Emails from an Irish Mother

Helen Leahy

Is Mammy a Saint or a Sinner?
This mother keeps a watchful eye on her brood wherever they are in the world.


Mammy is the Irish mother of six and lives in Cork.
As is often the case with Irish families, 3 of the children live abroad; Pearse in Australia, Kay in New York and Deirdre in London. Xavier and Marie still live at home and Paul is married with 4 children and lives in Cork.
Mammy keeps in touch with the children abroad by regular email. She considers herself to be very modern and while she is proud of her children she also likes to point out their faults on a frequent basis.
As the firstborn son Xavier is the apple of her eye and he still lives at home with Mammy, Daddy and Marie. Xavier is gay, but Mammy doesn’t know this and is confident that he will settle down with some lucky girl eventually.
Mammy likes to improve her mind and tries all sorts of classes and courses but as she knows everything already she does not last long at any.
Mammy has her own brand of logic and outlook on life is unique.
Here is an excerpt from a year in the life and world of Mammy.

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, comedy, email, funny, humour., irish, irish mother

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Five Go Glamping wrote 718 days ago

Hi Helen, I see you have not been about on authonomy for a while, but I came across your book and it had me laughing out loud, so I thought I'd leave a comment anyway as you may get it by email. Thanks loads for a great read!

Burgio wrote 1480 days ago

This is a charming story. Your readers will see a lot of their own mother in Mammy’s constant nagging; makes this a funny read. Spreading the children al over the world gives it extra depth. I’m adding it to my shelf. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

Jim Darcy wrote 1641 days ago

Happy to show my support until this gets in real print! Jim D Serpent's Blood

MarkRTrost wrote 1646 days ago

Very funny and as a descendant of many an irishman ... very accurate. My Mother isn't like this - my great aunts were. Well done

Mark R. Trost "Post Marked"

Jupiter Echoes wrote 1699 days ago

At first glance i thought the emails wouldn't work...
how wrong i was...
the premise had me smiling... the emails fearing.... thank god my mom ain't like this.
Still, i had to smile throughout, and completely forgot all the things i should be looking for...
testament, i think, to you ability.


klouholmes wrote 1699 days ago

Hi Helen, Hilarious. And the type of thing that unravels, as with Gary and the Chinese woman reading the email. Then I found myself laughing hard every so often. Mammy's awareness of so many things, such as searching for Xavier via his mobile location, when she doesn't have experience out there - it's very revealing in these emails. Such conversations can become so confused in kitchens and the mother usually being respected. I appreciated there being a number of her children and her talking about one with the other. That becomes full of plot! Shelved - Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

Legirl wrote 1702 days ago

Hello and thanks or the comments. It amazes me that the people who would perhaps but the book all seem to love it but the publisher who would sell it just don't. I will keep on trying though.

andyroo wrote 1703 days ago

This is so appealing because of the nosy, voyeuristic nature of humans - we love it! In the same way that fly on the wall documentaries and real-life game shows are the most popular thing on tele, this should be an easy hit with the great british public. It's funny too, in such a way that it isn't trying to be at all, which makes the humour that much more accessible. Original and yet so familiar, this should be easy pickings for any sensible publisher. It's a shame you don't seem to be having such luck.


Legirl wrote 1704 days ago

Failte Cait
Of course you can send the link to anyone you like really. I did get as far as the Editorial Meeting with Poolbeg but they said that due to the recession they were sticking with the tried and tested formula a nd if there was no recession they would publish it. To be honest I haven't sent it off much lately as although people who read it love it publisher do not. Thanks for your lovely comments.

Cait wrote 1704 days ago

Helen, saw your post in the Pitch thread, and must say what a delight it is to come across such a witty book. Would you mind if I sent a link to my sister?

What a let-down you had with that darn publisher going bust, eh? I hope you're sending it out to others. Have you tried Poolbeg Press in Dublin?

Thanks for the laugh. :) Must rush now. I want to get back to more emails from Mátair. ;o)


Cáit ~ Muckers ~

Rosali Webb wrote 1704 days ago

Christ! Doesn't she go on? Sounds just like my own mother. But there is something catchy about these ramblings. It would be something to pick up and read inserts if you are pushed for time, and then get completely nosey and wrapped up in the whole theme. Backed
Rosali/Fieldtrip to Mars

DDickson wrote 1706 days ago

I wa about to read another book and saw your title in the comments - you clever aul thing you had me caught with that straight away didn't you so. This is lovely and really appeals to the voyeur in me, I know I am a bad person. Loved it to bits - shelved - Diane (3 things that might have happened)

soutexmex wrote 1706 days ago

Because of your personal comment to me - SHELVED!

I can use your comments on my book when you get a chance. Cheers!

The Obergemau Key

Legirl wrote 1707 days ago

Thanks for your comments everyone. As I am new to this site does anyone have any advice on ho to get more people to read my book or do I just wait for other people to find me?

Leigh Fallon wrote 1708 days ago

Hi Helen
Firstly I nearly cried reading your profile, its practically impossible to get published and you were so close. Fingers crossed for you that its just a blip and you'll be back in paper very soon. This certainly deserves it, its as funny as hell. Being Irish and living in Cork I could really see all of this in action. Just one thing that hit me the minute I opened the book and started reading. You have Eircom spelt with an extra e ... Eirecom. Maybe this is done on purpose for legal reasons or something, but if it is a typo you had better fix it throughout the book.
Enjoyed and backed and the very very best of luck getting a publisher.
All the very best.
Leigh Fallon
The Carrier of the Mark

Harclubs wrote 1710 days ago

Dear Helen,
Your extremely funny collection of emails from your dear old Ma brought a tear to my eye and a fresh determination to keep my Mum away from the Internet.

C.P. wrote 1711 days ago

This is wonderful. And is a prefect example why no one should give their mother their email address. What a delight to read. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this. Mothers of a certain age, should be adopted out. Best of luck and on my shelf. Connie

Francis Albert McGrath wrote 1711 days ago

I don't know where you came up with the imagination to write these, but this is truly brilliant - really funny. You've got the Irish Mammy down to a T. Shelved.

Somerset wrote 1712 days ago

I'm not sure how one writes in an Irish accent, but you've managed to do it. So funny, and such an accurate picture of family politics (of any nationality.) I will be reading more. Shelved.

paxie wrote 1712 days ago


Hillarious....It reminds me of the Walsh family.....created by Marian Keyes........

For this to be a commercial success I think you would need to punctuate with paragraphs of Mammy and Daddy's life at home, via dialogue.....Beef it out to a story with some sort of plot development.....Like a kind of Shirley Valentine by computer.....Mammy lives her life through her family at the moment....Maybe she could blossom, discovering the outside world from her computer screen....

*meals on wheels
*sex toys
*an ironing service
*friends reunited..
* Molly maids cleaning service....

Things that would change mammy's life with absolutely hillarious consequences...And of course, everything you've already planned and detailed in your pitch.....which sounds amazing....

Would love your views on mine.......On my shelf

Jared wrote 1712 days ago

Loving this. I married into a vast Irish family and this relationship driven story is so true to life. You've had advice on the long pitch, much better I saw the original). Now you might like to do the same with the short pitch - sell the book in your own words, it has so much more emphasis.
There's a wonderful group of characters here, all linked by the redoubtable Mammy and you have certainly added something a little bit different to the site.
Jared (Mummy's Boy)

T.L Tyson wrote 1712 days ago

This is the best.
The voice is perfect. When I read the first line of the first letter, I thought oh! Perfect Mother Guilt.
I love this.
You have really started to unfold the relationships between her and the kids is perfect.
This is a riot.
The part about not calling her Dr. PRICELESS.
You are on my shelf.
T.L Tyson-Seeking Eleanor

Andrew W. wrote 1712 days ago

Emails from an Irish Mother

Hi Helen,

Lovely genuine Irish voices, what a complex set of characters and interrelationships you have set up. The vehicle of email works in the current extract but I wonder how effective it will be in maintain this structure for a whole novel, I wonder are you intending to use prose at any point. These bubble with humour and strong characterisation, you've obviously worked on your pitch since earlier comments because it seemed all right to me. A welcome addition to this site which I am very willing to back, best of luck and best wishes - Andrew W

(Sanctuary's Loss)

Legirl wrote 1712 days ago

Hi and thanks to you all for your comments. I have changed the pitch, is that better? Am so grateful for any advice.

Ccastle wrote 1712 days ago

Agree with the below - your book may be brilliant, but if its about an Irish vampire who falls in love with a goat, then I'm not interested - nevermind what other people have said. I'd strongly suggest you look at this pitch.

However, to give you a bit of a leg up, I've backed it. If you want any help with the pitch, let me know. I'm a marketer/copywriter/PR person, so I've helped a few people with pitches.


LittleDevil wrote 1712 days ago

Hi Helen
I think you should take a bit of time to sort out a long pitch. Let the reader know what the story is about. It helps when searching for something to read and often quite annoying to be told how funny something is. I speak from personal experience as I have often dismissed a book with no pitch.

Let the reader decide. Hope you don't mind me saying this, in the long run it may help. There are thousands of books on this site and you need to entice readers to yours.
Best wishes

tamaraB wrote 1712 days ago

Hi Helen

You have here and interesting and I think original idea. I've enjoyed it and thought it's quite funny.

Good luck

Legirl wrote 1713 days ago