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Philomena Paperback – Unabridged, 10 Oct 2013
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"The extraordinary story of an extraordinary woman . . . Philomena's tale is special. . . . It reveals a remarkable human being with astonishing fortitude and a truly humbling willingness to forgive. . . . I hope Philomena's heroic search and her courage in allowing her story to be told will bring comfort to all who have suffered a similar fate." --Judi Dench, from the Foreword
"A searingly poignant account of forced adoption and its consequences." --"Kirkus Reviews "(starred review)
"Riveting . . . Sixsmith chillingly recounts . . . this mother-and-son saga." --"Publishers Weekly"
"Emotionally compelling." --"Library Journal"
"A powerful testament to the strength of the bond between mother and child." --"Shelf Awareness"
"Heartbreaking . . . a story that needed to be told." --"The Independent"
"Delves into a woman's grief with restraint and sensitivity." "--"Independent on Sunday"
"The touching story of a mother's fifty-year search for her son." "--"Sunday Times "(London)"
The extraordinary story of an extraordinary woman . . . Philomena s tale is special. . . . It reveals a remarkable human being with astonishing fortitude and a truly humbling willingness to forgive. . . . I hope Philomena s heroic search and her courage in allowing her story to be told will bring comfort to all who have suffered a similar fate. Judi Dench, from the Foreword
A searingly poignant account of forced adoption and its consequences. "Kirkus Reviews "(starred review)
Riveting . . . Sixsmith chillingly recounts . . . this mother-and-son saga. "Publishers Weekly"
Emotionally compelling. "Library Journal"
A powerful testament to the strength of the bond between mother and child. "Shelf Awareness"
Heartbreaking . . . a story that needed to be told. "The Independent"
Delves into a woman s grief with restraint and sensitivity. " "Independent on Sunday"
The touching story of a mother s fifty-year search for her son. " "Sunday Times "(London)"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Philomena is now a major film starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, directed by Stephen FrearsSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 ›
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.
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.
About 7 years ago, Michael’s partner (called Pete in the book) referred me to a journalist who was trying to pitch a book based on the story of Michael’s birth mother’s search for her son. Following Pete’s lead, I agreed to speak to Martin Sixsmith about my friendship with Michael. He recorded our 2-hour conversation. Pete expected to hear from Sixsmith if the book proposal ever came to fruition.
When the book appeared without prior notice to Pete or me in 2009, I was appalled to find that Sixsmith had written a fictional version of Michael’s life in which characters engage in conversations that never happened. Because the book received consistently bad reviews in the British newspapers, I decided not to write a review, hoping that the book would fade from view. That is exactly what happened until Steve Coogan read the 2009 newspaper article by Sixsmith and the rest is history.
I cringed when I read my “character” engaging in fictional dialogue with Michael. Things only went downhill from there.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an absolute gem of a film. Dame Judy Dench and Steve Coogan make the perfect duo in this film. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Melody
Really good story and in site of catholic run mother and baby homes in IrelandPublished 14 days ago by pedalrobert
This shouldn't be called Philomena. It's 95% about Michael, very little about Philomena. Quite separate from the film. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
but very enjoyable. I preferred the story as told by the son, his story is very real. Made me cry at the tendPublished 1 month ago by BJB
So sad to read, that they never met again. It must have good to hear how well your son had a good life.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
An excellent and absorbing book - once I started reading it I couldn't put it down until I had finished it.Published 1 month ago by Joan Hulley
Have a box of tissues ready for this one, it's an incredible story but heartbreaking. Highly recommended reading.Published 1 month ago by JTH