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Paula Spencer
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Ten years on from THE WOMAN WHO WALKED INTO DOORS, Roddy Doyle returns to one of his greatest characters, PAULA SPENCER

About the Author

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.

Reviews

The heroine of Doyle's 1996 bestseller, The Woman Who Walked into Doors, returns long widowed (abusive husband Charlo having been killed fleeing the Irish police) and four months sober. Those absences and old relationships mark the year we follow in Paula's new life: she worries that her daughter, Leanne, is following in her footsteps; negotiates her resentment of her bossy older daughter, Nicola; and reconciles with her son, John Paul, now a recovering heroin addict with two kids of his own. Doyle, Booker Winner for Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha and author of The Commitments, does a lot in this novel by doing little: it is John Paul's quiet distance, for example, that serves as a constant reminder of the horrendous mother and pitiful alcoholic Paula used to be. The newfound prosperity of Ireland affects Paula's day-to-day life on the bottom of the economic scale which suddenly looks a lot different. Paula's inner life lacks subtler shades, and her outer life is full of tiring work, abstinence from liquor and family. These aren't elements that automatically make for a have-to-read novel, but in this wholly and vividly imagined case, they do. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Doyle revisits Paula Spencer The Woman Who Walked into Doors now 48, widowed, barely sober, but on the mend. Online readers' guide. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

[A] marvellous novel -- Carmen Callil * Financial Times *
Roddy Doyle has done the impossible - he has made Paula Spencer even more unforgettable the second time round * The Times *
[A] magnificent achievement * Guardian *
Doyle has created a little masterwork, a gem of persuasive realism -- Tom Adair * Scotland on Sunday *
An intoxicating sequel...a phenomenally rewarding read -- Euan Ferguson * Observer *

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