A Mother, Her Son, and A Fifty-year Search
Sixsmith, Martin (Paperback - 2009 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Item Details

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Judi Dench: the heartbreaking true story of an Irishwoman and the secret she kept for 50 years When she became pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to a convent to be looked after as a "fallen woman." Then the nuns took her baby from her and sold him, like thousands of others, to America for adoption. Fifty years later, Philomena decided to find him. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Philomena's son was trying to find her. Renamed Michael Hess, he had become a leading lawyer in the first Bush administration, and he struggled to hide secrets that would jeopardize his career in the Republican Party and endanger his quest to find his mother. A gripping exposé told with novelistic intrigue, Philomena pulls back the curtain on the role of the Catholic Church in forced adoptions and on the love between a mother and son who endured a lifelong separation. .
Authors: Sixsmith, Martin
Title: Philomena
a mother, her son, and a fifty-year search
Publisher: New York :, Penguin Books,, 2013.
Characteristics: vi, 420 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm
Notes: "First published in Great Britain as The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Macmillan Publishers Limited 2009."
Local Note: 1 2 3
ISBN: 0143124722
Branch Call Number: 941.7082 SIX
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An excellent film - disturbing yet well worth watching. You can see some clues as to why the Catholic church is in decline in the West.

Report This Mar 12, 2014
  • blueskies100 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

The title is misleading. This is not the story of Philomena, it is a an account of Michael Hess's life and his political career. Philomena's story is a very small portion of the story. I thought it would be focused on both of them and the impact of forced adoption.

Report This Feb 23, 2014
  • LaughingOne rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I saw the film "Philomena" a couple of months ago and loved it. I put the book "Philomena" on hold at the library and when I finally got it, I read it. In my opinion, the book is NOT the story of Philomena, it is the story of her son - Anthony / Mike. There were approximately 30 pages (including the Prologue) at the beginning of the 452-page book and 14 pages of Epilogue at the end, so maybe 44 pages out of 452 that told Philomena's story. The other 400+ pages told the story of the adoption system in Ireland in the 1950s and the story of Anthony (who was renamed Mike) and his "sister" Mary when they moved to the USA to live with their new family. Mike's story was interesting and compelling; however, the book jacket is misleading -- this is NOT about Philomena's 50-year search for her son. That was a disappointment to me.

Report This Jan 12, 2014
  • maggiemca rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

The first part of the novel tells the story of the unwed mother who was forced to give up her son, in accordance with the instructions of the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland at that time. The second part deals with her son's experience in America as he grows up with echoes of his past life and a desire to find his birth mother. Heartbreaking and depressing, with no real happy ending for either.


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Judi Dench interview about the movie Philomena

Comments from real life Philomena Lee and Martin Sexsmith

Lee and Sexsmith discuss the adaptation of book to film.

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