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Every Inch of Her

Every Inch of Her

4.2 4
by Peter Sheridan

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The sisters at the Good Shepherd Convent in Dublin’s North Wall don’t quite know what to make of their newest refugee. Philo announces herself at their door one Sunday evening with the words, “God pointed me here.” A large presence, weighing 240 pounds and bearing tattoos on her arm, Philo smokes, swears and loves to eat. She is also a mother


The sisters at the Good Shepherd Convent in Dublin’s North Wall don’t quite know what to make of their newest refugee. Philo announces herself at their door one Sunday evening with the words, “God pointed me here.” A large presence, weighing 240 pounds and bearing tattoos on her arm, Philo smokes, swears and loves to eat. She is also a mother of five and in flight from her abusive husband, Tommo.

In no time at all, Philo has made herself indispensable. At the Senior Daycare Center, she gets the old folks talking to one another, singing old favorites, and playing bingo again. And with all the love she’s got to give, it’s only natural that Cap and Dina—two people at the Center long separated by a bitter feud—come together again.

By turns comical and tender, Peter Sheridan’s novel is a beautifully written portrait of an unforgettable woman who touches every life she meets through the sheer force of being herself.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A 240-pound Dublin housewife with five children and an abusive husband takes refuge with a bevy of nuns in this boisterously cheery and raunchy first novel by Irish theater director Sheridan. Pining for a fresh start, Philo shrugs off her responsibilities and plops herself on the doorstep of the Sacred Heart convent in the crumbling North Wall neighborhood of Dublin. The nuns are startled at first-particularly Sister Rosaleen, who's put in charge of swearing, smoking, tattooed Philo-but Philo soon makes herself indispensable, entertaining the senior citizens at the convent's Day Centre with games of bingo and Blind Date. Among other good deeds, she reunites Cap and Dina, two Day Centre regulars who've been feuding for 40 years over the neighborhood's vegetable trade. Still, Philo's future as a nun seems unlikely, and Philo longs to be reunited with her children, who've been dumped at an orphanage by their shiftless father, Tommo. Tommo pronounces himself ready to turn over a new leaf, but Philo's been burned before. Will they ever be a family again-and is that what Philo wants? Sheridan aims to deliver rollicking good fun with a darker edge, and despite some strained humor, for the most part he succeeds. (Sept.) Forecast: Readers who liked The Full Monty will enjoy this bawdy comedy, as will those who prefer their heroines on the hefty side. 10-city author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Determined to make a better life for herself and her five children, Philo rhymes with pillow Nolan leaves abusive husband Tommo and takes temporary refuge in a Dublin convent. Her boisterous personality and colorful language bulldoze the nuns into submission, and before long she has reformed the convent's senior day care center. Not content to put her own life in order, Philo also plays matchmaker to a pair of seniors who have been feuding for decades. Sheridan, a noted Irish theater director and the author of two highly praised memoirs, 44: Dublin Made Me and 47 Roses, has written a delightful first novel; his tattooed and heavyset heroine is sure to gather a cult following as devout as that of Agnes Browne, the star of Brendan O'Carroll's The Mammy. Recommended for public libraries with a following for Irish fiction and memoirs. Karen Traynor, Sullivan Free Lib., Chittenango, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Irish theater director and first-novelist Sheridan takes us through the back streets of Dublin to meet Philo Nolan, perhaps the biggest Earth Mother to cross the Liffey since Molly Bloom. Philomena Nolan is not one to go through life sitting down. Loud, vulgar, obese, and opinionated, she's heading into middle age-with five children and a husband in tow-but doesn't intend to let go of immaturity without a fight. Thoroughly fed up with family life, Philo runs away from home one day and takes refuge in a convent. For many of the good sisters, Philo (who couldn't tell you the difference between the Immaculate Conception and the Circumcision) is a breath of fresh air, but even her strongest admirers know that she could never make it as a nun-even if she were single. But they give her a job all the same, putting her to work in the kitchen of an old-age center they run nearby. There, when she isn't eating everyone's breakfast before hours, Philo manages to endear herself to the residents and make herself useful in small ways, organizing blind-date contests among the neighborhood pensioners and keeping everyone's spirits up generally. One of the ladies she befriends is Dina Sugrue, an elderly greengrocer who is partially lame after a case of frostbite. Philo helps Dina run her shop and encourages her to reunite with an old flame who broke her heart many years before. In the meantime, Philo has to fight off the advances of her loutish husband Tommo while challenging his claim to custody of the children and resisting the sisters' advice to return to him. Can an overweight, undersexed, unfit mother of five find happiness in a convent? Maybe Philo wants something else. A mildly transgressive versionof Brendan O'Caroll's Agnes Brown novels, with the same sentimentality and forced good spirits that made many readers of those works rather queasy in short order. Author tour

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Penguin Group
File size:
303 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Peter Sheridan is the author of 44: Dublin Made Me and 47 Roses. A leading figure in Irish theater, he has served as director of numerous acclaimed theaters in the U.S. and U.K. He is the director of the film Borstal Boy.

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Every Inch of Her 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book, i liked the charectars, though i would have liked it if the book elaborated a little more towards the end. Defently still worth the read
Guest More than 1 year ago
Here's a great story about a real woman in real Dublin. It's not candy coated but it is a great read, I highly recommend it to any one who enjoys stories about real women with real problems or tales set in modern day Dublin.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in less than a week because it kept my attention throughout most of it, but something that kept it from getting five stars is the fact that the author left too many loose ends. The ending, I felt, wasn't all he could have been either.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i don't generally enjoy reading books that are in a woman's voice, yet are written by a man--i find that men just can't capture what it is to be a woman, just as women can't capture what it is like to be a man. this book is the exception--sheridan did an amazing job. heartwarming, humorous, and honest.