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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-ninth 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. Paula's got four grandchildren now; two of them are called Marcus and Sapphire. Reviewing "The Woman Who Walked into Doors", Mary Gordon wrote: "It is the triumph of this novel that Mr Doyle - entirely without condescension - shows the inner life of this battered house-cleaner to be the same stuff as that of the heroes of the great novels of Europe." Her words hold true for this new novel. Paula Spencer is brave, tenacious and very funny. The novel that bears her name is another triumph for Roddy Doyle.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781846570360
ISBN-10: 1846570360
Format: CD-Audio
(125mm x 142mm x 24mm)
Imprint: Random House Audiobooks
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publish Date: 7-Sep-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

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 seven acclaimed novels and Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. Reader Biography Ger Ryan is a native of Dublin. She began her career in theatre in 1985 and has since had many roles both on television and in feature films, including The Commitments and The Van. She read The Woman Who Walked Into Doors, the prequel to Paula Spencer, for Random House Audiobooks and also played Paula Spencer in Roddy Doyle's acclaimed series Family for the BBC.

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