Customer Reviews for

Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search (Movie Tie-in)

Average Rating 3.5
( 61 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(11)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Philomena is a grand book. The writing is top notch. It is a hea

Philomena is a grand book. The writing is top notch. It is a heartbreaking yet inspirational story. I was a bit surprised by the storyline. I thought it was going to be about a mother’s search for her son, but it was more about the life of the son – rising up in the Rep...
Philomena is a grand book. The writing is top notch. It is a heartbreaking yet inspirational story. I was a bit surprised by the storyline. I thought it was going to be about a mother’s search for her son, but it was more about the life of the son – rising up in the Republican party, his lifestyle as a gay man, and his battle with AIDS. Even though it was different than what I expected, I still really enjoyed this book.

posted by Anonymous on January 21, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Spoiler Alert

I thought this story was going to be about a mothers search for her son after being forced to give him up it ended being a very long book about the sons rise and struggle with the Rebublican party, his gay lifestyle and then his battle with AIDs All of my hope while i...
I thought this story was going to be about a mothers search for her son after being forced to give him up it ended being a very long book about the sons rise and struggle with the Rebublican party, his gay lifestyle and then his battle with AIDs All of my hope while i was reading this arduous account of his life came to an end when he dies never finding his Mother, and when she finally finds him she has to settle for a gravestone Although this was a very true and touching story, I felt completely let down at the end--very sad

posted by MissyDee on December 6, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    Even better than the movie!

    I enjoyed the film so much that i decided to read the book. Mr. Sixsmith unfolds the story with finesse and skill. The film gave a fairly full view of Philomena's experience, but the book reveals an equally well documentation of her son's life, as well. A very good read.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    Recommended

    This wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be about, but very interesting, touching, and educational at the same time.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    This book takes time to read...

    It is painful to read what these girls go through and I find myself putting the book down occasionally because it is so sad. It is such a fascinating story!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2013

    Recommend - but Philomena is not the main character of the book.....

    I found the book very easy to read and so interesting that I did not want to put the book down; however, in my opinion, the main character and storyline of the book is not Philomena, It is her son, his life and eventual search for his mother. Philomena, to me, was a secondary character who was addressed in about 1/4 of the book. I purchased the book after seeing the move trailers and reading about the movie. Based on what I had seen and read, I assumed Philomena would be the main character and the storyline would be about her search for her son.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    A must read if the movie left you with questions

    This book was origionally titled " The Lost Child Of Philomena Lee". A more apt title, since the book comes from an entirely different perspective than the movie did. The book primarily takes you through the life of Michael Hess here in America: what his life was like growing up, his relationships with his " sister", his adoptive parents and his new country. His adult life; successes and struggles and his visceral connection with Ireland and his birth Mother. Very little mention of Phillomena as an adult. The book and the movie together paint a more complete picture than the movie alone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Pretty good

    Wonderingehatthe movie willbe like. So far it is all about the son.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Four Stars, nothing is perfect.

    It's hard to believe that people could be so cruel to an unwed mother, not to mention her innocent baby. As a society, and the Irish in particular, we have come a long way. I'm not Catholic, so I can't comment on the church.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    A Really Good Read

    Did not see the movie, always want to read the book first. Was a really good read, and would recommend to anyone who loves a good story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2014

    Greatly recommended

    I enjoyed reading this book.Not at all what I thought it would be like. I found it very informative on a subject I really didn't have much knowledge of. I was just disapointed that the mother and son did not meet.-

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2014

    Good book, but not what I expected

    Not having seen the movie, and only having read a brief synopsis, I thought this book was more about Philomena and her search to find her son than the story of what became of that son. Not that his wasn't an interesting story; it was. It was bittersweet and heartbreaking. The book should have been named "Michael Hess," as the story is much more about him than about Philomena. I would like to have read more about her story. Having said that, I would still recommend the book, as it is interesting, and tells the dark history of the Catholic church and the way it exploited unwed mothers, and how the republican party did nothing to learn more about, and thus to stop the spread of AIDS.

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  • Posted March 14, 2014

    Recommend

    This was quite the story - it certainly shows how true love can direct your life - or ruin it. I wish it would have brought MORE of Philomena into the story - and how she had led her life.

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  • Posted March 7, 2014

    highly recommend

    After seeing this movie I wanted to know more of the story so I bought
    the book. The actual story was much more interesting than the movie and I would highly recommend this to anyone. The in depth story of
    Philomena's son was never explored in the movie and is actually very interesting. Also the part the Catholic Church and the Irish government played in separating unmarried mothers and children in the 1950s was very enlightening. Thank heavens the practice has ceased. This is a look into the past of both Ireland and America of
    the time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2014

    Compelling

    I found this was hard material to read while I still wanted to know what track the book would take since it presented a very different viewpoint from that of the movie. The movie was about a mother searching for her son, but most of the book focused on the son's life in America. There was the occasional factual error, such as the son taking Metro to a place when Metro was not yet completed to that location. The end notes by the author indicated that some liberties were taken since the book was based on memories of people who knew Philomena's son. The author received a lot of cooperation from people. It was heartrending that the Catholic Church took advantage of young women by requiring their labor, then adopting a child for lots of money and that they blamed the woman for everything and not the man who got her pregnant.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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