Peter Sheridan, Author . Penguin Books $14 (288p) ISBN 978-0-14-200434-0

A 240-pound Dublin housewife with five children and an abusive husband takes refuge with a bevy of nuns in this boisterously cheery and raunchy first novel by Irish theater director Sheridan. Pining for a fresh start, Philo shrugs off her responsibilities and plops herself on the doorstep of the Sacred Heart convent in the crumbling North Wall neighborhood of Dublin. The nuns are startled at first—particularly Sister Rosaleen, who's put in charge of swearing, smoking, tattooed Philo—but Philo soon makes herself indispensable, entertaining the senior citizens at the convent's Day Centre with games of bingo and Blind Date. Among other good deeds, she reunites Cap and Dina, two Day Centre regulars who've been feuding for 40 years over the neighborhood's vegetable trade. Still, Philo's future as a nun seems unlikely, and Philo longs to be reunited with her children, who've been dumped at an orphanage by their shiftless father, Tommo. Tommo pronounces himself ready to turn over a new leaf, but Philo's been burned before. Will they ever be a family again—and is that what Philo wants? Sheridan aims to deliver rollicking good fun with a darker edge, and despite some strained humor, for the most part he succeeds. (Sept.)

Forecast: Readers who liked The Full Monty will enjoy this bawdy comedy, as will those who prefer their heroines on the hefty side. 10-city author tour.

Reviewed on: 09/27/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 304 pages - 978-1-4406-1626-6
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4406-1513-9
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-0475-0
Show other formats
Discover what to read next