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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Paula Spencer

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Paula Spencer Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this new novel, set in contemporary Dublin, Roddy Doyle returns to Paula Spencer ("One of Doyle's finest creations" — Toronto Star), the beloved heroine of the bestselling The Woman Who Walked into Doors, with spectacular results.

Paula Spencer begins on the eve of Paula's forty-eighth birthday. She hasn't had a drink for four months and five days. Having outlived an abusive husband and father, Paula and her four children are now struggling to live their adult lives, with two of the kids balancing their own addictions. Knowing how close she always is to the edge, Paula rebuilds her life slowly, taking pride in the things she accomplishes, helped sometimes by the lists she makes to plan for the future.

As she goes about her daily routine working as a cleaning woman, and cooking for her two children at home, she re-establishes connections with her two sisters, her mother and grandchildren, expanding her world. She discovers the latest music, the Internet and text-messaging, treats herself to Italian coffees, and gradually ventures beyond her house, where she's always felt most comfortable. As Paula thinks of herself, She's a new-old woman, learning how to live.

Doyle has movingly depicted a woman, both strong and fragile, who is fighting back and finally equipped to be a mother to her children — but now that they're mostly grown up, is it too late? Doyle's fans and new readers alike will root for Paula to stay clean and find a little healing for herself and her children, amidst the threat that it may all go wrong.

Review:

"The heroine of Doyle's 1996 bestseller, The Woman Who Walked into Doors, returns long widowed (abusive husband Charlo having been killed fleeing the Irish police) and four months sober. Those absences and old relationships mark the year we follow in Paula's new life: she worries that her daughter, Leanne, is following in her footsteps; negotiates her resentment of her bossy older daughter, Nicola; and reconciles with her son, John Paul, now a recovering heroin addict with two kids of his own. Doyle, Booker Winner for Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha and author of The Commitments, does a lot in this novel by doing little: it is John Paul's quiet distance, for example, that serves as a constant reminder of the horrendous mother and pitiful alcoholic Paula used to be. The newfound prosperity of Ireland affects Paula's day-to-day life on the bottom of the economic scale — which suddenly looks a lot different. Paula's inner life lacks subtler shades, and her outer life is full of tiring work, abstinence from liquor and family. These aren't elements that automatically make for a have-to-read novel, but in this wholly and vividly imagined case, they do." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Ten years ago, in his superb novel 'The Woman Who Walked into Doors,' the Irish writer Roddy Doyle introduced his readers to Paula Spencer, a tough, passionate, alcoholic Irishwoman with a foul mouth and an unsparing working-class wit. As the book opens, the police inform Paula that her estranged husband, Charlo, has been shot and killed while committing robbery and murder. From there, the book swoops... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Though the narrative might meander a tad much, this deeply empathetic novel comes to a suitably indeterminate ending." Houston Chronicle

Review:

"[Doyle's] dialogue, thick with Dublinese, expertly evokes the working-class Irish milieu. Although the third-person narration will make some readers miss Paula's voice, this is Paula's story — and it's grand." Booklist

Review:

"The four grown Spencer offspring, Paula's two sisters, and a promising romantic interest make up an entertaining supporting cast. Highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"Paula Spencer does for alcoholism what The Woman Who Walked Into Doors did for domestic violence: makes it real for those lucky to have no firsthand experience of it." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"A splendid sequel....With The Woman Who Walked Into Doors and Paula Spencer, there is the sense of another grand franchise in the making." Seattle Times

Review:

"This novel is a welcome return to form for Doyle." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"We might think being careful would be thin material for fiction, but Doyle...has the skill and, above all, the patience to pull it off." Los Angeles Times

Synopsis:

"Pure, undiluted pleasure" (The Washington Post) from Booker Prize- winning author Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle 's beautifully wrought tale revisits the Dublin housewife-heroine of his earlier acclaimed novel, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors. Paula is now forty-seven, her abusive husband is long dead, and it's been four months and five days since she's had a drink. She cleans offices to get by and lives from paycheck to paycheck. But as she manages to get through each day sober, she begins to piece her life back together and to resurrect her family. Told with the unmistakable wit of Doyle's unique voice, this is a redemptive tale about a brave and tenacious woman.

About the Author

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of 6 acclaimed novels, and Rory and Ita, a memoir of his parents. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143112730
Author:
Doyle, Roddy
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General
Subject:
Widows
Subject:
Women domestics
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20080131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
7.80x6.56x.50 in. .42 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Romance » General

Paula Spencer Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$2.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143112730 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The heroine of Doyle's 1996 bestseller, The Woman Who Walked into Doors, returns long widowed (abusive husband Charlo having been killed fleeing the Irish police) and four months sober. Those absences and old relationships mark the year we follow in Paula's new life: she worries that her daughter, Leanne, is following in her footsteps; negotiates her resentment of her bossy older daughter, Nicola; and reconciles with her son, John Paul, now a recovering heroin addict with two kids of his own. Doyle, Booker Winner for Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha and author of The Commitments, does a lot in this novel by doing little: it is John Paul's quiet distance, for example, that serves as a constant reminder of the horrendous mother and pitiful alcoholic Paula used to be. The newfound prosperity of Ireland affects Paula's day-to-day life on the bottom of the economic scale — which suddenly looks a lot different. Paula's inner life lacks subtler shades, and her outer life is full of tiring work, abstinence from liquor and family. These aren't elements that automatically make for a have-to-read novel, but in this wholly and vividly imagined case, they do." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Though the narrative might meander a tad much, this deeply empathetic novel comes to a suitably indeterminate ending."
"Review" by , "[Doyle's] dialogue, thick with Dublinese, expertly evokes the working-class Irish milieu. Although the third-person narration will make some readers miss Paula's voice, this is Paula's story — and it's grand."
"Review" by , "The four grown Spencer offspring, Paula's two sisters, and a promising romantic interest make up an entertaining supporting cast. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "Paula Spencer does for alcoholism what The Woman Who Walked Into Doors did for domestic violence: makes it real for those lucky to have no firsthand experience of it."
"Review" by , "A splendid sequel....With The Woman Who Walked Into Doors and Paula Spencer, there is the sense of another grand franchise in the making."
"Review" by , "This novel is a welcome return to form for Doyle."
"Review" by , "We might think being careful would be thin material for fiction, but Doyle...has the skill and, above all, the patience to pull it off."
"Synopsis" by ,
"Pure, undiluted pleasure" (The Washington Post) from Booker Prize- winning author Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle 's beautifully wrought tale revisits the Dublin housewife-heroine of his earlier acclaimed novel, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors. Paula is now forty-seven, her abusive husband is long dead, and it's been four months and five days since she's had a drink. She cleans offices to get by and lives from paycheck to paycheck. But as she manages to get through each day sober, she begins to piece her life back together and to resurrect her family. Told with the unmistakable wit of Doyle's unique voice, this is a redemptive tale about a brave and tenacious woman.

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