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Description - Paula Spencer by Roddy Doyle

When we first met Paula Spencer - in The Woman Who Walked into Doors - she was thirty-nine, recently widowed, an alcoholic struggling to hold her family together. Paula Spencer begins on the eve of Paula's forty-eighth birthday. She hasn't had a drink for four months and five days. Her youngest children, Jack and Leanne, are still living with her. They're grand kids, but she worries about Leanne. Paula still works as a cleaner, but all the others doing the job now seem to come from Eastern Europe, and the checkout girls in the supermarket are Nigerian. You can get a cappuccino in the cafe, and her sister Carmel is thinking of buying a holiday home in Bulgaria.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099501374
ISBN-10: 0099501376
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 18mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 5-Jul-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Paula Spencer by Roddy Doyle

US Kirkus Review » An intimate, humane portrait of a working-class Irish woman's pleasures and struggles in her first year of sobriety.Doyle fans first met Paula Spencer in Doyle's critically acclaimed novel, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors (1996), the story of Paula's alcoholism, her marriage to the wild, abusive Charlo and their four children. This book opens eight years later, on Paula's 47th birthday. Charlo is dead, two of Paula's children are grown and have children of their own and Paula is four months and five days sober. Some big things happen in this novel-fights, sickness, reconciliation-but they are not the story's focus. Instead, Doyle employs his trademark narrative style, an almost exclusive use of dialogue and fragmented inner monologue, to convey the thousand tiny moments of despair and triumph that make up Paula's daily life. To the middle- class observer, Paula lives a drab, working-class existence cleaning houses and stadiums in Dublin. But to be an ordinary person is a source of great joy to Paula. Like a woman who has returned from the verge of death, she can't get over her luck. That she has money in her pocket and the occasional day off from work, that she is able to savor good coffee in the Italian cafe in her neighborhood where, she's pleased to note, they trust her not to run off without paying-all are sources of joy. "It's grand," Paula says. As she gradually builds a new life, it's a phrase she uses again and again.Profound, subtle and unsentimental-the latest from a master back in top form. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of nine acclaimed novels, one collection of short stories and Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. His last book, The Dead Republic, was the final volume in the Henry Smart trilogy.

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