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The Lost Child Of Philomena Lee Paperback – Sep 4 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: PAN Macmillan Adult (Sept. 4 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230744273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230744271
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 15.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 640 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #688,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Nov. 27 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I just finished reading the 18 reader reviews of "The Lost Child of Philomena", before writing my own review of the book. And I can't figure out if everybody reviewing this book read the same book. About half of the reviewers referred to the book as mostly about Philomena, an Irish "Magdalene", torn apart from her child after raising him for three years in a home for unwed mothers in Ireland. The others appeared to have read a different book -and the same one I read - which is mostly about the child, Michael Hess, who was adopted by an American couple in the mid-1950's. The story is mostly about HIS life in the US and his growing up with the angst that adopted children sometimes have about their origins, as well as his coming to terms about his sexuality and life in college and law school and life in Washington DC as an official at the Reagen and HW Bush administrations and then at the Republican National Committee. Only at the end were Martin Sixsmith and Philomena brought back into the story.

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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Crifty on Jan. 13 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is a story worth telling ...... But not by Martin Sixsmith. He may have been very good as a foreign corespondent reporting facts but when I read a book I want the facts to be brought together in a way that makes me engaged in the story. Sixsmith's style is so simplistic and unsophisticated that I felt I was reading a children's book. He didn't provide atmosphere, didn't round out the characters or make me feel for them or make me care what happened to them. So much so that I gave up on the book before I got half way through.
In future I will ALWAYS read the first few chapters before I purchase an eBook.
Very disappointing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Ann Wainright on Feb. 25 2014
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A beautifully told story of loving and the sad tale of trying to coexist with stifling Catholic beliefs of judgement and puritanical mores of the times, The constant striving of the little boy who wanted to be good to be loved and how this behaviour would be the cornerstone of how his life would unfold. This story is endearing, it will make you cry, but at the same time it will make you want to raise you hands to ask....why does this happen.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mindlink Educational Consulting Inc. on Dec 3 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I agree with another review:
http://www.amazon.ca/review/R3VLI8S3WDDTG/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R3VLI8S3WDDTG

This book, though perported to be a story about the "50-year search" for the son taken from Philomena, was more than half about American politics, the gay lifestyle and the treatment of AIDS sufferers during the first big outbreak in the U.S. Philomena's story is sadly lacking. I was disappointed. I hope the movie tells us more about Philomena and women like her whose children were taken from them in a disgusting manner by people they were taught to trust.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Judy Tomyn on Feb. 15 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I saw the movie Philomena after reading the book and must say I enjoyed it much better, but having read the book first it was good to be able to see the mother's part of things.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harry Truss on Jan. 12 2014
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I enjoyed this book very much. I had seen the movie and had enjoyed it. The book is more detailed, and follows the two children through their lives (especially the boy)in the United States. Michael Hess (Anthony Lee) had problems with his father and his sexuality growing up, and continued with his successful career.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barb Murphy on Feb. 26 2014
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A wonderfully factual and emotional portrayal of a man's lifelong search for acceptance. A connection is felt with the main character, as well as his mother. It also gives the reader an inside look at the emotions and the behind the scenes lives of those who may be running the country in DC, and the social progression (or lack of) over the years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Stamford on Feb. 18 2014
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a wonderful perspective of this lost child's life with his adoptive family. One gets the feeling he lived a conflicted life and seemed like a lost soul.
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