Book Review: The Lost Child of Philomena Lee

[info_box type=”notice_box”] Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. By clicking on the link and making a purchase, I make a small amount of money. All monies made through affiliate income is used for website maintenance and continuing genealogy education. [/info_box]
Over the holiday break, I went to see the movie Philomena. For me, it was a much anticipated movie. Anything that has to do with the Irish and research grabs my attention. Put the two together and I am one happy camper.

On opening night, I ventured out into the cold weather with my mother-in-law to see this movie. I knew from the promotional clips that it was about a woman who was searching for her son that had been taken from her.

When the movie was over, I knew that one thing I had to do was read the book. The movie was good. Dame Judy Dench did a wonderful job (as always) and I was really pulled into the story, wanting to know more. More about the timeframe, more about the research that was done and more about the Catholic Church and why they got away with doing such terrible things?

Luckily, I had a client that had the original book. I did not want to read the updated version that ties in with the movie. I wanted the first edition of it. To make sure I got all the background information on this story.
The beginning of the book goes back and forth between Philomena’s story and the politics of the time. It really makes you see and understand how the church was able to continue giving these children up for adoption. It breaks your heart to read the story, especially knowing how the story ends.

The middle of the book focuses on the story of Anthony Lee / Michael Hess. He seems to have been a troubled soul that always had questions about his former life and his first ‘mammy’.

The more I read, the more I want to research more into the lives of these poor girls that had to endure this life. Of course, the church is still keeping all of their records sealed at this point. But, one day (I hope in the near future) they will open them and I will be waiting to research more and hopefully bring some closure to the families.

If you have not seen the movie Philomena or read the book, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son and a Fifty Year Search; I highly recommend that you add it to you list of books to read or movies to see.



Similar Posts


  1. Eye opening book, good movie. If you liked this book, you might like the book titled, “Madeleine” by Michael Dobbs.

  2. It’s difficult to get an accurate picture of a situation that has been “covered” up, but I imagine that the Catholic Church would not have been involved in this “business” if civil government and society had been more willing to acknowledge and act compassionately for the welfare of the young girls and the children. It’s almost like society says one thing, sometimes, but does something different–giving rise, effectually, to the development of corrupt practices. For evil to win, all that has to happen is that good people do nothing.

    1. Margaret,

      Thank’s for reading and taking the time to reply. From reading this book and talking with others that have read the Magdalen Laundries book, it states that the government tried to take this sort of problem away from the church. But the church felt it was a moral issue and would not let this happen. Of course, this was not a part of our lives and we cannot say for sure what happened. But, I lean more towards the side of the woman this happened too. There are many stories coming out on the topic and they all seem to say the same thing. I give these women a ton of credit as they stay very connected with their faith. Personally, I would not have.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.