Features | Book Club | The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son And A Fifty-Year Search

The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son And A Fifty-Year Search, by Martin Sixsmith.

In 1950s Ireland a scandal was quietly taking place: thousands of babies born to ‘fallen women’ were being taken from their mothers and sold to American parents. Philomena’s baby was one of them. After being forced to work in the laundries of Sean Ross Abbey in County Tipperary for 3 years, during which Philomena cared for her son, shewatched him being snatched from her.

Fifty years later Philomena finally admits her secret to Martin Sixsmith—a journalist.

Together they trace the steps of Philomena’s long-lost son, all the way to the United States, where the boy’s life would be both blessed and tormented. Torn by his mysterious past, he grows up to become a successful lawyer working for the Republican Party, but he harbours a dark secret of his own that cannot be reconciled with his high-flying career. Will Philomena’s son know happiness in the Land of the Free, and will he ever find his mother?

A heart-wrenching tale of injustice and love across continents and decades,The Lost Child of Philonema Lee is a haunting biography full of controversial topics. It describes in accurate detail the plotting and scheming that went on behind the scenes of the American government in the 80s, the developments of gay rights in the US, and it explores with great sensibility and sensitivity what it means to belong.

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