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

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,798 customer reviews

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Product Description

Review

"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)""

Book Description

Philomena is now a major film starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, directed by Stephen Frears

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6413 KB
  • Print Length: 433 pages
  • 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
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 1,798 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,251 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Format: Paperback
As a person who was interviewed for this book and who appears as a “character” in it, I believe this book should be categorized as fiction. The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, written by Martin Sixsmith, was originally published in 2009. After the success of the movie Philomena, the book was reissued with a new title. By now, everyone knows that the book tells the tragic story of Philomena Lee, who had an illegitimate child in the early 1950s while living at an abbey run by nuns in Ireland. An American couple adopted her son, Anthony Lee, when he was 3 years old and renamed him Michael Hess. Philomena and Michael were stymied in their search to find each other by the nuns’ refusal to give them information.

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.
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