* Frank introduces the reader to his parents, Malachy McCourt and Angela Sheehan.
* Malachy had fought for the Irish Republican Army before coming to America, and Angela had come to America after difficulty finding a job in Ireland.
* Malachy and Angela meet at a party, and are married when Angela becomes pregnant with Frank.
* The couple struggle because Malachy has a drinking problem and spends most of what he earns in the pubs.
* Angela gives birth to Malachy, Oliver, Eugene, and Margaret over the next four years.
* Margaret becomes ill and dies, sending Angela into a great depression.
* Angela becomes very depressed after Margaret dies and the family, with the help of Angela's mother in Ireland, put together enough money to move back to Ireland.
* Angela's aunts write to Angela's mother, requesting she send help so that the family can move back to Ireland.
* The McCourts arrive...
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