Philomena Philomena


The True Story of a Mother and the Son She Had to Give Away (Film Tie-in Edition)

    • 4.3 • 120 Ratings
    • £4.99
    • £4.99

Publisher Description

The extraordinary true story that inspired an acclaimed film starring Steve Coogan and Judi Dench, Philomena, by Martin Sixsmith, is a gripping tale of heartache, hypocrisy and ultimately, redemption.

It follows the lives of Philomena Lee, who, after falling pregnant in 1952, was treated as a fallen woman by Irish Catholic society, and her son, torn from her by the Church and swept across the Atlantic as one among many forced adoptions.

Philomena, shamed and coerced into signing a document promising never to attempt to see her son again, wages a secret, decades-long battle to reconnect with her lost, beloved son. Unbeknownst to her, her son has been renamed Michael Hess, and grew up to become a high-powered lawyer in the homophobic climate of the Reagan and Bush administrations. But he was a gay man in a homophobic party where he had to conceal not only his sexuality but, eventually, the fact that he had AIDS. With little time left, he returned to Ireland and the convent where he was born: his desperate quest to find his mother before he died left a legacy that was to unfold with unexpected consequences for all involved.

In this searing narrative, Sixsmith exposes a clandestine world of love, loss, secrets, and the unbroken bond of a mother and child.

10 October
Pan Macmillan

Customer Reviews

I am free102 ,

Very moving.

I am so glad he came home to Ireland and that Philomena found peace of sorts. I often heard my aunt speak of the "cruelty" of the nuns but to deny people the opportunity to put jigsaw pieces together and bring them peace in their lives and re kindle much sought after relationships is very cruel indeed. This book focuses a lot on his career and private life but the longing for his mother and sense of identity were a constant. He felt like he never belonged. I have a similar story but very different circumstances but my feeling is the same I have never belonged to my "family" and I too only have a grave to bond with my mother. Anthony sounded a remarkable man in so many ways and Philomena should be very very proud.

Wassey1 ,


I am surprised that you can get a film made from the text of this book. The title is wrong!! Only a small part of the text relates to a mum and her search for a child that has been adopted. The book in the most part is about the son who has a very anhilistic attitude to the world and blames it on the fact that he was adopted. The system that allowed the adoption is appalling but the story is about a selfish self centred man.

Nurseymag ,


Brilliant read from the first page to the last!

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