The Mammy by Brendan O’Carroll Review

Mrs Browne Trilogy, Book #1


I love watching Mrs Brown’s Boys on television, Brendan O’Carroll is excellent as Agnes Brown and I find him/her very funny. I wasn’t aware that he had written series of books based on the character of Agnes Browne, that inspired the television show, so was delighted when I received the first book in the series, The Mammy, to read and review.

The Mammy is Agnes Browne, a 34-year-old widower from Dublin, Ireland with 7 children. After the death of her husband she has a fruit and veg stall on the market alongside her best friend Marion, struggling to make ends meet. The year is 1967.

The Mammy follows the story of Agnes from the day her husband Redser dies, he was killed by “a hunter”. From the very first page the book is filled with laughter, sadness and the struggles of young widow with an unruly brood of kids; 6 boys and 1 girl. While mourning her husband Agnes has to carry on and raise her children on her own as well as earn a living but with Marion by her side she does this with lots of laughter along the way until her friends health scare.

The book is very engaging, full of fun and sadness and features evil nuns, cinema ushers getting their comeuppance, the death of her husband, Marion getting to dance with the man of her dreams and Agnes’ first date with an amorous Frenchman.

Overall, The Mammy is a sharp and witty story. The characters are down to Earth and believable. It has a very strong storyline and a is great read. If you are expecting Mrs Brown’s Boys, this book isn’t as slapstick as the television show and is much more real.

Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down and can’t wait to read the other books in this series.

Whether or not you have seen the hit TV series, the book is very different and is a great insight into the struggles of a young working-class woman from Dublin trying to cope with loss, earning a living and raising 7 kids into good adults. While I love the television series, I loved the book so much more.

From the offset you are laughing, an excellent and engaging read.

Highly recommended.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £8.99 (Paperback) / £4.99 (Kindle)

Available to buy from Amazon here.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided with a free copy of this book for the purposes of writing a honest and impartial review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This review uses an affiliate link which I may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.

Click here to read more reviews of books by Brendan O’Carroll