All Souls This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     All Souls: A Family Story fromSouthie is an eye-opener to the truth about the “best place inthe world”: the Old Colony housing project of Southie. MacDonaldreveals the problems facing South Boston since the'70s.

Though ruled by the patriarch mobster James“Whitey” Bulger's Irish mafia, slandered by Bostonnewspapers, neglected by politicians and tormented by corruption in theJustice Department, the loyal inhabitants of Southie would never admitthat their beloved community had a flaw.

Even though it housedthe most concentrated population of impoverished whites in the country,Southie's citizens remained faithful. Even with constant murders,drug trafficking and suicides, they kept quiet about their problems.With knock-off designer clothes, fixed-up cars, and their Irish pride,South Bostonians were able to mask the hardships that existed in theirlives.

Aside from letting the world into the Southie community,MacDonald lets us into his own family in All Souls. The“accordion-playing, spiked-heel-wearing, indomitable” HelenMacDonald was mother not only to her nine children, but a wholeneighborhood. With boyfriends coming and going, “MaMacDonald” was rarely available. Despite her negligent qualities,Michael MacDonald viewed her as the strongest woman in the world. Nearlyhalf her children were lost to drugs, murder and suicide, and one waswrongly incarcerated due to corruption in the policedepartment.

All Souls is the equivalent of an Irish wake wherethe readers are able to rejoice over the good times, as well as mournthe bad. MacDonald's conversational style whips the reader fromrage toward the unfairness of the uncontrollable situations, and longingfor the type of tight-knit community that existed in South Bostondecades ago. This is a powerful story that finally captures the essenceof long-ignored Southie.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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