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About the Book

About the Book

Every Inch of Her

Philomena Nolan is a force to be reckoned with. At five foot six and two hundred forty pounds, her size alone is intimidating. But it is the power of her personality, with her brazen humor and no-nonsense attitude, that really gets people's attention. So how does a woman who appears so strong find herself at the door of the Good Shepherd's convent one night, seeking refuge?

"I feel like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music," Philomena says to Sister Rosaleen, who is eyeing Philo with trepidation. Philomena has always used humor as both a weapon and a shield, and she needs her armor now-she's never felt quite as vulnerable as she does at this moment. But how far can her humor take her this time? Can it get her past the fact that she's walked away from her family, including her five children, hoping for a better life for them all?

Sister Rosaleen does open the door for Philo. She has no idea at the time, however, how Philo will change her life, opening her eyes to a world beyond the church. In fact, because of Philo's insistence on embracing life and moving forward, she has an impact on every individual she meets: Cap and Dina, after feuding for forty years, finally make peace and come together; the once-complacent seniors at the convent's Day Centre are now alive with song and conversation; and the men in her life, who up till now have failed her miserably, all discover there's a price to pay for not treating people with the respect and dignity they deserve. Shaped by the hard-learned lessons of her difficult life, Philo has no time for gossip or greed, regret or self-pity, and won't stand for it in others either.

Through this remarkable character, Peter Sheridan, a well-known memoirist and one of the best-known figures in Irish contemporary theater, explores with humor, poignancy, and light some very dark issues, including domestic violence and sexual abuse, as well as the universal themes of family, love, and forgiveness, all against the backdrop he knows best-Dublin, Ireland. As we travel with Philo on her journey toward redemption, we are reminded that she is indeed extraordinary, but that most of all she is human, with frailties as well as strengths. The way she overcomes her weaknesses is her triumph. The way she sheds pounds along with the demons of her past to gain back her family, her dignity, her life, and her future is our inspiration.

Every Inch of Her
by Peter Sheridan

  • Publication Date: August 31, 2004
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
  • ISBN-10: 0142004340
  • ISBN-13: 9780142004340