The Lost Child of Philomena Lee (Anglais) Broché – 21 mai 2010
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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. Either that, or the early reviewers were reading an entirely different book than the rest of us, a book that WAS mostly about the mother and her search.
I also couldn't quite tell if the book was fiction or non-fiction. If it was non-fiction, then a whole lot of people know what they were saying 50 years ago. Sixsmith writes in the afterward that he interviewed a lot of the characters alive at that point, but then he also put characters together and changed some names. All in all, I didn't think the book was particularly well-written. I'm hoping the movie is better.
The book does describe Philomena's search for her long, lost son and some of the appalling practices of the Catholic Church in Ireland of that era but most of the book focuses on Michael: his struggle with his homosexuality; his struggles with the contradictions between his political beliefs and his job and lastly the terrible way the government ignored the scourge of AIDS.