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The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son and A Fifty-Year Search
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Top Customer Reviews
Okay, that's not a problem for the purchaser and reader of the book, now retitled "Philomena: A Mother, A Son, and A 50 Year Search", as long as s/he knows in advance that's NOT what the book is about. This book is about 75% about Michael, his life, and his family - which IS very interesting - and about 25% about Irish shaming of young pregnant women, the eventual "selling" of their babies, and Philomena's search for her given-up child. I am going to see the movie, starring Dame Judi Dench this weekend, and I'll bet that the movie is more about Philomena than her child.
I point this out because the movie marketers seem to have taken a book - more about the son - and turned it around and made the movie more about the mother, and then tried to rebrand the book to align with the movie.Read more ›
I have recommended this book to many people. This needs to be known!
"The Lost Child of Philomena Lee" by Michael Sixsmith is a tragically true story. At first I hesitated to buy it, 451 pages long, but once I started to read I couldn't put it down. Mike/Anthony Lee searched for years. He felt a strong connection with his Irish roots and hoped one day his Mother, Philomena Lee, might find him.
Women victims in these Prison type Religious Institutions served as slaves and used to breast feed their children (cost saving for the Convent) and then when no longer needed thrown out without any guidance, counseling or meaningful support, which made way for more inmates. It's a wonder that any of these women and their children survived.
Martin Sixsmith’s initial chapters concerning Philomena’s plight are poignant in the extreme. The heartfelt narrative delivers us to the Abbey where we become that frightened, cowering girl. We know the anguish she is going through, we bear witness to the ostracisation and indoctrination, so we understand why she signed those adoption papers despite loving her son so dearly.
This is the first 20 percent of the book.
The remainder of the book then focuses on her son’s life (born Anthony Lee / adopted name Michael Hess). Sixsmith narrates Michael’s torment from being wrenched from his mother, and his inability later on to gain information to reconnect with her.
But the overwhelming focus seems to be on Michael’s burgeoning homosexuality and his inner conflict. The conflict stems from the hypocrisy he feels at working in the top echelons of the Regan administration (known for its blatant homophobia and inaction over the AIDS epidemic) whilst he himself is a closeted gay. The book really is a biography of HIS life, and this part really does become too long winded.
Sixsmith was an English political correspondent for 17 years. He also spent time working with the Blair government. It seems that Sixsmith, in labouring over Michael’s political career, has taken the book to a place he knows best. And whilst all this is interesting, it is a very long tangent from what the book title suggests it will be all about.
Sixsmith does return to Philomena’s quest in the last few pages.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Intrigued by the movie Philomena, I wanted to know more details and delve deeper into the Irish sale of children. Read morePublished 14 hours ago by Jeanne Jenkins
Really Good Book!! But if you are wanting to read this book because you saw the movie you would have a big surprise!!!Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
Very emotional read. I felt part of the story rather than a reader. Highly recommendPublished 10 days ago by Anna Giannaki
Sadly, I embarked on a book I thought would deal primarily with adoption. I looked for a story that would convey an adoptees quest as well as a mother's, but the book really... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Vernita Shepardson
I liked this book at first but I have a very hard time understanding how the author could write such detail about what a small child is thinking. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Maureen Davies
Movie was better. I didn't want to hear about his sexual exploitsPublished 1 month ago by Gina Anne Kent