Start reading Philomena: The true story of a mother and the son she had... on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available
 

Philomena: The true story of a mother and the son she had to give away (film tie-in edition) [Kindle Edition]

Martin Sixsmith
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,415 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £3.59 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £4.40 (55%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Whispersync for Voice

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of £2.99 after you buy the Kindle book.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £3.59  
Paperback, Unabridged £3.80  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged £25.52  
Earn a Free Kindle Book
Earn a Free Kindle Book
Buy a Kindle book between now and 31 March and receive a promotional code good for one free Kindle book. Terms and conditions apply. Learn more

Book Description

When she fell pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to the convent at Roscrea in Co. Tipperary to be looked after as a fallen woman. She cared for her baby for three years until the Church took him from her and sold him, like countless others, to America for adoption. Coerced into signing a document promising never to attempt to see her child again, she nonetheless spent the next fifty years secretly searching for him, unaware that he was searching for her from across the Atlantic.

Philomena's son, renamed Michael Hess, grew up to be a top Washington lawyer and a leading Republican official in the Reagan and Bush administrations. But he was a gay man in a homophobic party where he had to conceal not only his sexuality but, eventually, the fact that he had AIDs. With little time left, he returned to Ireland and the convent where he was born: his desperate quest to find his mother before he died left a legacy that was to unfold with unexpected consequences for all involved.

Philomena is the tale of a mother and a son whose lives were scarred by the forces of hypocrisy on both sides of the Atlantic and of the secrets they were forced to keep. With a foreword by Judi Dench, Martin Sixsmith's book is a

compelling and deeply moving narrative of human love and loss, both heartbreaking yet ultimately redemptive.



Product Description

Book Description

When she fell pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to the convent of Roscrea, Co. Limerick, to be looked after as a ‘fallen woman’ and at the age of three her baby was whisked away and ‘sold’ to America for adoption. Coerced into signing a document promising ‘Never to Seek to Know’ what the Church did with him, she never saw him again. She would spend the next fifty years searching for her son, unaware that he spent his life searching for her. Philomena's son, renamed Michael Hess, grew up to be a top lawyer and then a Republican politician in the first Bush administration. But he was also gay and in 1980s Washington being out and proud was not an option. He not only had to conceal not only his sexuality, but, eventually, the fact that he had AIDs. With little time left, he returned to Ireland and the convent in which he was born to plead with the nuns to tell him who his mother was, so that he might see her before he died. They refused. The Lost Child of Philomena Lee is the story of a mother and a son, whose lives were blighted by the forces of hypocrisy on both sides of the Atlantic and of the secrets they were forced to keep. A compelling narrative of human love and loss, Martin Sixsmith's moving account is both heartbreaking yet ultimately redemptive.

About the Author

Martin Sixsmith was born in Cheshire and educated at Oxford, Harvard and the Sorbonne. From 1980 to 1997 he worked for the BBC as the Corporation’s correspondent in Moscow, Washington, Brussels and Warsaw. From 1997 to 2002 he worked for the Government as Director of Communications and Press Secretary first to Harriet Harman, then to Alistair Darling and finally to Stephen Byers. He is now a writer, presenter and journalist. He is the author of Philomena, as well as the novels Spin and I Heard Lenin Laugh, and the non-fiction books Moscow Coup: The Death of the Soviet System and The Litvinenko File: The True Story of a Death Foretold. He lives in London.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6705 KB
  • Print Length: 433 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0143124722
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (10 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DTUKK6C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,415 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,677 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down 23 Mar. 2014
By Di
Format:Paperback
I found this book a compelling read. From the moment I picked it up, I found it hard to put down. I liked the style of writing and the sensitive portrayal of the characters meant it was easy to be drawn in. It wasn't Philomena's story, however, it was her son's, but his struggles and the prejudices he faced throughout his life provided a harrowing tale made all the more poignant by the fact it was a true story. I challenge any reader not to empathise with Philomena and the love she had for her son, living in constant dread that he would be taken from her. The manner of his removal and what could possibly have gone through the mind of such a young child at that time still brings a lump to my throat and causes me to hold my children that little bit tighter.

I don't want to say much more and spoil people's reading but Anthony/Michael's story is a real education in prejudice and the struggles of one man who couldn't conform in an unforgiving society. I was appalled at the narrow minded and medieval attitudes of the Catholic Church, American society and political institutions. I think there was an element of bias from the author towards the Church, Michael's adoptive father and some others but that is for people to decide themselves.

This is an excellent book and I recommend it to all.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
99 of 107 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Misleading! 8 Jan. 2014
Format:Paperback
If you think you are going to read Philomena's story - You are wrong. This is Michael Hess ( Antony) story. It centres on his journey through life feeling rejected and alone. He embarks on a career in Law which takes him to the Whitehouse, rubbing shoulders with the President, and partying in Gay Bars, progressing to a life that includes a sordid and depraved side, often pushing aside those that come to love him and selling out fellow friends and associates that are homesexual to further his career, and save himself from public humiliation.You have every sympathy for his situation, and his lost identity, but he did have a good family, a mum who loved him, and a sister that shared his past and present life.His attempts to find his real Mum were rather half hearted in my opinion, and he didn't really appreciate the love and education that his adoptive family provided.
It is an emotive subject, and I really wanted to read Philomena's story and how it affected her. Unfortunately this book does not cover her story at all. Maybe I will have to watch the film, but I do feel the title of the book is misleading.
Was this review helpful to you?
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the film but the book is even better. 6 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book gives so much more information and insight into the life of Anthony Lee. The sad toll that his perceived rejection had upon Anthony's life is sensitively explored and one is left feeling so sad that he never knew of his mother's continued longing and the quest to find him.
The book is also a secondary source of historical information about the prejudice and at best ambivalence experienced by the gay community in America particularly with the advent of HIV and AIDS.
Last but not least is the important story that needed to be told of the Church's role in exploiting young women and their babies as recently as the 1960s and 70s.
Thank you to Martin Sixsmith and to Philomena for giving us this truly heart wrenching book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but some flaws... 4 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved the beginning of this book with the descriptions of Philomena in the convent with her new baby, Anthony. It was so Irish, it was moving and it was heartbreaking. From the moment Anthony left, I longed for them to be reunited.

Having finished the book, I find the description a little deceiving. Philomena isn't the tale of the search of a mother for the son she was forced to give away, and once the adoption has actually taken place it isn't even the story of Philomena. I would have loved to have known more about Philomena's own quest and her life after Anthony was taken from her. However, Philomena does not actually feature again until the very end of the book. I guess the original title to the book, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son and a Fifty Year Search is slightly more accurate, but not totally.

I was constantly waiting and expecting "the search" to begin. Anthony (who subsequently becomes Mike) visits Ireland twice, but I cannot really describe what he does there as searching for his mother. Yes, within the book he talks about finding his mother, and it is clear that he wants to, but his actions are not what I would call "a lifelong search for his mother".

As this is what I had been expecting from the book, I did begin to find the seemingly endless life story of Anthony/Mike a little repetitive and tedious after a while. The book is heavily based on his life as a gay man and his career, leading to a focus on a homosexual lifestyle and American politics. Whilst it was interesting, it isn't what I had entirely expected, and I just wanted that little bit extra from it.

That said, I must emphasize that I really did enjoy the book as a whole.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philomena, the true story !! 23 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have already seen the film twice, and I found that the book filled in all or most of the blanks about how the children fared with their adoptive parents, and gave a much more informative insight into their adult lives, Mary, with her husband and family, and Anthony renamed Michael by his adoptive parents, his life although succesful as far as academia was concerned and his employment within the political situation in the USA. I also felt that it gave a tremendous insight into the turmoils which he suffered because of his mother giving him up, was that really true, or could he find her and speak to her to have so many questions answered. The narrative concerning his personal lifestyle which sadly ended in AIDS was extremely interesting and gave an insight into the American Government's attitude towards homosexuality and the ensuing.health problems. I purchased the book because I had thoroughly enjoyed the film with it's excellent cast and fully expected it to be the narrative of the movie, instead I found that I had purchased a concise and interesting book which showed up the problems in Ireland with regard to unmarried pregnancies and the problems for the mothers and their babies at that time in recent history, and a very forthright and revealing narrative about American political happenings and the effect on members of the public who were homophobic, and the in depth cover of Michael/Anthony's life, a very emotional read. It wasn't what I expected to read when I purchsed the Kiindle edition of Philomena, but what a tremendous read it turned out to be, and I am so glad that I have been filled in on all the parts which the film omitted
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A***
Published 7 hours ago by LJM
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read full of surprises, not like the film, but great book
Published 1 day ago by Vivien Green
3.0 out of 5 stars I wished I'd seen the film rather than read the book
Like others reviewers I was disappointed that the book was mainly about Philomena's son rather than Philomenia herself. Read more
Published 2 days ago by J Hutch
5.0 out of 5 stars Wrong book title
The book title is very misleading. However excellent reading. A little less about his political life would have been better that's only my view, though
Published 2 days ago by Ms. V. A. Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book I bought it as a present after having ...
A beautiful book I bought it as a present after having seen the film - its now on its way to New Zealand .
Published 2 days ago by Martha gray
4.0 out of 5 stars Very moving and thought-provoking
In 2009 a book was published written by Martin Sixsmith and called The Lost Child of Philomena. The original title should have been kept. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Discerning Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
How harrowing, always respected Martin Sixsmith as a reporter and not disappointed
Published 3 days ago by Mrs. S. Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Absolutely loved this read, fab story, well written & couldn't put down
Published 3 days ago by paula49
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book
Published 4 days ago by Eleanor Guthrie
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good book
Published 4 days ago by Mr. G. Routh
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category