Have you ever started reading a book thinking you knew roughly what is was about? I've done just that with "Philomena".
I decided to read the book before watching the film and it started how I expected. However instead of concentrating on Philomena it concentrated on her son Anthony.
During the story of Anthony's life I learnt a few things about the USA and in particular about events during the Reagan years. Although I grew up during this period what we learnt about current affairs was given to us by the newspapers and tv news. No such thing as the internet or even 24 hour tv back then! So unless you devoured every broadsheet available some things passed you by (plus I have an appalling memory).
I have to say that, sad as the story is, Philomena was superbly written and I could barely put it down. Written to give the reader enough information without giving them the feeling they were reading a gossip magazine. The one down side were the photos. Placed in two sections in the middle of the book it meant discovering the ending well before getting there.
I would have liked to have found out more about Philomena's life after she gave up her son but the story was so compelling it didn't really matter. But it seemed that's what Philomena herself wanted - her son's story told