Philomena

  • 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.

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What the Critics Say

Now a major film starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Title should be Anthony/Michael, NOT Philomena

This is the story of Anthony Lee, with a lot of fictional dialogue and imagined thoughts imposed on the main players. I'm glad I read the book and at certain points I was keen to know what would happen next, but it was a let-down in many ways. The opening chapters tell of Philomena's ordeal living at the convent and giving up her child for adoption, and towards the end we meet Philomena again when her daughter searches for her half brother. But in between these two appearances, the book is about Anthony-Michael. This is all interesting enough, but I kept wondering what was happening to poor Philomena whose grief would have been immense, and the longer she was left out of the story the more irritated I became. I have no idea why the book title is 'Philomena' and why the book cover photo suggests that Philomena and her son are eventually reunited. To me, the publicity for the book and film are very misleading. The narration is little more than a reading of the text. The voice lacks character and the presentation is pretty flat.
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- Robyn

Narration terrible

What would have made Philomena better?

A different narrator. This reader just managed to pinpoint the book's weak areas after five hours of misery from him and the self-pity from the characters I couldn't go any further. Perhaps a different narrator would have improved the whole atmosphere. I just couldn't continue.


Would you ever listen to anything by Martin Sixsmith again?

I would listen to this again with a different narrator. The book is supposed to be wonderful. I did find it a bit heavy as there was absolutely no humour at all and some of the poignancy was lost to me because of the endless misery.


What didn’t you like about John Curless’s performance?

Pretty much everything.


What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Irritation and ultimately disappointment.


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- Venetia

Book Details

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