Ten years on from The Woman Who Walked into Doors, Roddy Doyle returns to one of his greatest characters, Paula Spencer
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 café, 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.
“Ger Ryan reads Roddy Doyle's Paula Spencer with absolute conviction...and if you think you are in for a depressing listen, think again. Brave and funny, Paula looks at life with humour and compassion...it all makes for splendid listening.”
“Doyle gets right inside the head of this 21st-century Dubliner in a stream of consciousness that is by turns moving, funny and just a little bit tedious - a real person, in other words. Ger Ryan gives compelling voice to the Dublin vernacular and for the duration of the CDs Paula becomes a presence in your life.”
“If you like Paula Spencer, you'll love this full-on reading by Ger Ryan. I loved every minute and look forward to the next installment.”
Arminta Wallace, Irish Times
“The author's sentences reflect the tiny triumphs that mark Paula's life as she gets through each day without alcohol. They work particularly well on audio and the Irish narrator brings the listener right into the minutiae of Paula's life as she struggles to regain all she has lost, most poignantly, the love of her alienated children.”