• by Martin Sixsmith
  • Narrated by John Curless
  • 15 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Falling pregnant as a teenager in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to the convent in Co. Tipperary to be looked after as a fallen woman. She cared for her baby for three years until the Church took him and sold him, like countless others, to America for adoption. She spent the next 50 years secretly searching for him, unaware that he was searching for her from across the Atlantic.


What the Critics Say

Now a major film starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Glory Be!!!

There has been so much hype over this book that I thought 'I MUST read this', so far I have only listened to the first part - almost 8 hours and another 8 to go!! The whole thing could have been said in 2 hours!!
OK there is a sad tale to tell, but Martin Sixsmith's idea of what was going through the minds of Mikey and Mary from their early childhood until their later life is purely fictional, and to me sounds highly improbable, as is the manner of the activities that the older Mikey gets up to (for instance how he thinks a particular boy is deliciously attractive!!).
The narrator has one of those 'If I shout this harshly you'll understand what I am saying' voices which I find most disturbing. I MIGHT manage to tackle the second half of this, but I don't hold out great hopes for that at the moment, it is drawn out to such an extent that it is boring in the extreme.
I can imagine that the film would be slightly better, after all the story IS worth telling, but the fictionalisation (is that a word?) is not done intelligently at all, ... in my opinion of course.
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- mollyeyre

Not what I expected

Would you try another book written by Martin Sixsmith or narrated by John Curless?

Probably not. Having seen the film, which dealt with Philomena's attempts to trace her son, I was very surprised to find a large section of the book was a semi-fictitious account of the childhood and career of Michael/Anthony, the majority of which had little or no bearing on the story of his adoption.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The Irish side of the story, dealing with the convent babies, how they were adopted and the trauma to both infants and mothers, then the attempts to re-unite them

Have you listened to any of John Curless’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is the first one. It was passable, but to my mind a little one paced and most of the characters sounded the same.

Do you think Philomena needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. If there is one, I shan't bother reading it.

Any additional comments?

Would be a lot better without the middle long centre section on Michael, which could have been dealt with in one or two chapters, and I found extremely boriing

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- P J Young

Book Details

  • Release Date: 17-12-2013
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks