- Paperback: 452 pages
- Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd (October 4, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0230744273
- ISBN-13: 978-0230744271
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 454 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,230,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son and A Fifty-Year Search
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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 British Government as Director of Communications. He is now a writer, presenter and journalist. His previous books are The Litvinenko File, Moscow Coup: The Death of the Soviet System and two novels, Spin and I Heard Lenin Laugh.
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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. Either that, or the early reviewers were reading an entirely different book than the rest of us, a book that WAS mostly about the mother and her search.
I also couldn't quite tell if the book was fiction or non-fiction. If it was non-fiction, then a whole lot of people know what they were saying 50 years ago. Sixsmith writes in the afterward that he interviewed a lot of the characters alive at that point, but then he also put characters together and changed some names. All in all, I didn't think the book was particularly well-written. I'm hoping the movie is better.