A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search (Movie Tie-in)
Publication Date: November 6, 2013
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New York Times Bestseller
Now a major motion picture starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan and nominated for four Academy Awards: the heartbreaking true story of an Irishwoman and the secret she kept for 50 years
When she became pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to a convent to be looked after as a “fallen woman.” Then the nuns took her baby from her and sold him, like thousands of others, to America for adoption. Fifty years later, Philomena decided to find him.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Philomena’s son was trying to find her. Renamed Michael Hess, he had become a leading lawyer in the first Bush administration, and he struggled to hide secrets that would jeopardize his career in the Republican Party and endanger his quest to find his mother.
A gripping exposé told with novelistic intrigue, Philomena pulls back the curtain on the role of the Catholic Church in forced adoptions and on the love between a mother and son who endured a lifelong separation.
Martin Sixsmith is the author of several fiction and nonfiction books and is a former BBC journalist and director of communications for the British government. He lives in London.
Judi Dench is one of the world’s most celebrated actresses and has received numerous awards for her work, including eleven BAFTA awards, two Golden Globes, a Tony Award, and an Academy Award. Her most recent films are The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Skyfall.
“The extraordinary story of an extraordinary woman . . . Philomena’s tale is special. . . . It reveals a remarkable human being with astonishing fortitude and a truly humbling willingness to forgive. . . . I hope Philomena’s heroic search and her courage in allowing her story to be told will bring comfort to all who have suffered a similar fate.” —Judi Dench, from the Foreword
“A searingly poignant account of forced adoption and its consequences.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Riveting . . . Sixsmith chillingly recounts . . . this mother-and-son saga.” —Publishers Weekly
“Emotionally compelling.” —Library Journal
“A powerful testament to the strength of the bond between mother and child.” —Shelf Awareness
“Heartbreaking . . . a story that needed to be told.” —The Independent
“Delves into a woman’s grief with restraint and sensitivity.” —Independent on Sunday
“The touching story of a mother’s fifty-year search for her son.” —Sunday Times (London)