Wow, what a powerful book. It is an autobiographical story of a womans childhood, marriage, and motherhood from birth to middle age. She lives in Dublin, in a part of the city that seems to have little money or possessions. The first part of her childhood is pleasant, but once she hits high school, she falls into bad habits, and rough company. She marries a man she loves, but her marriage is marred by intense spousal abuse. As a result of her trauma, she falls into alcoholism. The whole book is powerful, raw, really emotional, not a calming book. I found it a quick read, even though it was disturbing. I loved it.
A good novel about a 39 year old Irish woman who is a wife, mother and works as a housecleaner.
She tells her life story from childhood thru marriage showing her strengths and vulnerabilities.
One of the best books I have ever read. It will have you in tears all throughout. You can really feel the main character (Paula) and the train of thought writing was well done and something I really enjoyed. Don't pass on this book!
This was an interesting and fast read. And it certainly had a clear, Irish voice. It really painted a portrait of this woman, Paula Spencer. It seemed like Roddy Doyle had seen a photograph of this scarred, missing-toothed cleaning woman, who had somehow retained a sense of beauty - either past or present and then managed to capture her story. I guess that's what the entire book felt like to me - a photograph, a window into someone's soul.
I am very interested in reading the sequel, _Paula Spencer_, since it didn't seem like a sequel would be necessary by the end of it. There were, of course, unanswered questions - why did Carmel hate her father so? What happened to Paula's older son? And perhaps those are the types of questions that will be addressed in the sequel...
This book evoked many emotions in me. I find it amazing that this man can write so poignantly in a woman's voice. I found the abuse difficult to read but overall enjoyed this book. I love his sense of humor and as a woman can remember and relate to many emotions that Paula experienced throughout her life. I will be reading more of Roddy Doyle in future.
A quick, interesting read that certainly kept my attention. A view into the mind of a character very unlike myself. I enjoyed the vernacular, first-person writing.
The narrator speaks to the reader as if she's really drunk. Sometimes she strong and not drunk and one keeps hoping she'll stay that way.
A great book, hard to describe. Take a look at life through a pair of Very strange eyes!!
Roddy Doyle's "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha" won the 1993 Booker Prize and went on to become a phenomenal bestseller. "The Woman Who Walked Into Doors," his finest achievement to date, will astonish readers with its heartrending story of a woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after marriage to an abusive husband and a worsening drinking problem. Paula Spencer recalls her contented childhood, the audacity she learned as a teenager, the exhilaration of her romance with Charlo, and the marriage to him that left her feeling powerless. Capturing both her vulnerability and her strength, Doyle gives Paula a voice that is real and unforgettable.
Great story about survival against tough odds. I really enjoyed it.
Hard to read, in places, tears at your heartstrings. Very well written, and difficult to believe that this insight into a woman's soul was written by a man.
This book is right on with the depiction of an abused, battered woman. She has all the same excuses and rationales, and finally finds courage not for herself, but for her daughter. The author does an excellent job of showing us that she grows up an average, normal child and teenager... thus giving lie to the idea that women who put up with abuse have common backgrounds. They simply don't... and there's no best way for them to escape their desperation.
From the inside jacket:
My name is Paula Spencer. I am thirty nine years old. It was my birthday last week. I was married for eighteen years. My husband died last year... He was shot by the Guards. He left me a year before that. I threw him out. His name was Charles Spencer; everybody called him Charlo.
The heartrending story of a woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after marriage to an abusive husband and a worsening drinking problem. Paula Spencer recalls her contented childhood, the audacity she learned as a teenager, the exhilaration of her romance with
Charlo, and the marriage to him that left her powerless. Capturing both her vulnerability and her strength, Doyle gives Paula a voice that is real and unforgettable.
interesting and sad story.