Synopses & Reviews
Full of characters as memorable and loveable as the Dublin they inhabit, this endearing tale marks the wondrous fiction debut of a talented writer.
The sisters at the Good Shepherd Convent in Dublin's North Wall don't quite know what to make of their newest refugee. Philo announces herself at their door one Sunday evening with the words, "God pointed me here." A large presence, weighing 240 pounds and bearing tattoos on her arm, Philo smokes, swears, and loves to eat. She is also a mother of five and in flight from her abusive husband, Tommo. In no time at all, Philo has made herself indispensable. At the senior Daycare Center, she gets the old folks talking to one another, singing old favorites, and playing bingo again. And with all the love she's got to give, it's only natural that she helps Cap and Dina two people at the Center long separated by a bitter feud come together again. By turns comical and tender, Peter Sheridan's novel is a beautifully written portrait of an unforgettable woman who touches everyone she meets through the sheer force of being herself.
"A 240-pound Dublin housewife with five children and an abusive husband takes refuge with a bevy of nuns in this boisterously cheery and raunchy first novel by Irish theater director Sheridan. Pining for a fresh start, Philo shrugs off her responsibilities and plops herself on the doorstep of the Sacred Heart convent in the crumbling North Wall neighborhood of Dublin. The nuns are startled at first particularly Sister Rosaleen, who's put in charge of swearing, smoking, tattooed Philo but Philo soon makes herself indispensable, entertaining the senior citizens at the convent's Day Centre with games of bingo and Blind Date. Among other good deeds, she reunites Cap and Dina, two Day Centre regulars who've been feuding for 40 years over the neighborhood's vegetable trade. Still, Philo's future as a nun seems unlikely, and Philo longs to be reunited with her children, who've been dumped at an orphanage by their shiftless father, Tommo. Tommo pronounces himself ready to turn over a new leaf, but Philo's been burned before. Will they ever be a family again and is that what Philo wants? Sheridan aims to deliver rollicking good fun with a darker edge, and despite some strained humor, for the most part he succeeds. (Sept.) Forecast: Readers who liked The Full Monty will enjoy this bawdy comedy, as will those who prefer their heroines on the hefty side. 10-city author tour." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Marvelous, nervy....Sheridan's prose style is Chekhov by way of Monty Python and Rabelais...hilarious." The New Yorker
"A mildly transgressive version of Brendan O'Caroll's Agnes Brown novels, with the same sentimentality and forced good spirits that made many readers of those works rather queasy in short order." Kirkus Reviews
"Peter Sheridan writes at the crossroads where hilarity and heartbreak, tenderness and savagery meet." Roddy Doyle, author of A Star Called Henry
By turns comical and tender Peter Sheridan's debut novel is beautifully written portrait of an unforgettable woman who touches everyone she meets through the sheer force of being herself.
Full of characters as memorable and lovable as the Dublin they inhabit, this endearing tale marks the wondrous fiction debut of a talented writer.
About the Author
Peter Sheridan is the author of 44: Dublin Made Me and 47 Roses. A leading figure in Irish theater, he has served as director of numerous acclaimed theaters in the U.S. and U.K. He is the director of the film Borstal Boy.