book cover


Maureen O’Carroll vividly brings to life growing up in a large, quirky but ambitious Irish immigrant family, as seen through the eyes of middle child Maureen.

After years of periodic imprisonment in Ireland for their fight for independence, Maureen’s parents immigrated to Sydney, Australia where they raised ten children during the Depression and war time. The patriarch, John O’Carroll, sets up in the storefront of their Balmain terrace house a barbershop, The Anchor Hairdressing Salon, which becomes a hub of activity for the locals.

Throughout this colorful memoir infused with Irish history, local politics, Catholicism and the humorous struggles of Depression-era life, music remains a vital theme. It is instrumental in all ten O’Carroll children overcoming their hard circumstances to achieve a better life.

About the Authors

author picture

Maureen O'Carroll was an acclaimed cellist who played in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and several orchestras internationally. She was also a recording artist, soloist and teacher. Maureen passed away in 2012. In 2019, she was named one of the top 100 Irish Australians of All Time by the Sydney-based Irish Echo newspaper

Leora O'Carroll, Maureen's daughter, is an Emmy-nominated television writer and producer as well as a musician. A graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory, she resides in Los Angeles.