In Angela's Ashes, Francis McCourt (the narrator) tells of the time that his mother, Angela, became sick.
In Chapter 10, Frank relates how he and his brothers know something is wrong with their mother when she makes no move to light a cigarette for herself. Instead, she sits by the fire, shivering, and moans for some lemonade. With no money for food or lemonade, Frank is eventually forced to steal some bread from Kathleen O'Connell's shop and two bottles of lemonade from crates of beer and lemonade outside South's pub.
When Michael unwittingly tells a rich lady about their troubles, Malachy scolds his brother. Soon, Guard Dennehy, who is in charge of school attendance, knocks on the door of the McCourt home. Frank tries to fend Dennehy off by claiming that all of them probably have the same deadly disease their mother has. Even though he tells Dennehy that this disease could kill, Dennehy is unperturbed and knocks in the door. He makes his way in and tells Frank to go and get his grandmother and his Aunt Aggie. Eventually, the doctor comes to take Angela to the hospital; she is diagnosed with pneumonia. Meanwhile, Frank and his brothers go to stay with their Aunt Aggie until their mother returns from the hospital.