By Kathy Klaus
Reviewed by Dr. Jacqueline Jeynes
This is an inspiring collection of short stories about personal life lessons as told by 55 different women. Originally, the idea came together as part of a workshop at the Humor
Academy, as the author, Kathy Klaus, collated the tales that women offered to share.
The cover image is a fantastic sculpture of a laughing woman on a floating carpet, enjoying her own wild ride through the universe.
It is broadly divided into four sections covering “The Value of a Story,” “Memories and Emotion,” “Gratitude,” and “Love Remembered.” Each short tale gives the writer a chance to share a memory, sometimes not always a positive one, and to reflect on what impact it has had on their life. Lots of humour, of course, and definitely some real “Ah-ha!” moments, as the writers made a profound realisation about life in general.
All inspiring, the tales range from tributes to the power of their mother’s love, to so many words of wisdom: “Your husband needs to appreciate you. If you are making him bacon and eggs, you should break the yolks every once in awhile.” Or saying to your sons, “Quick, grandma is coming over. We have to tidy the house” only for them to ask, “Why can’t grandma see how we really live?”
There is the tale of “I once bought a house with three credit cards,” and the joy of making new goals as a 75-year-old woman – now officially recognised as an old lady. And Alice who writes a stanza of poetry every day.
For each of the contributors, there is a reference to “My Thought for the Day,” or a “Message to my Younger Self” – short notes with words of encouragement to the reader in order to enjoy the wild ride that is our life experience.
A unique element of this book is that the reader is encouraged to add their own story or reflections. There are pages with blank spaces for you to jot down an imaginary scene or recall the funniest thing that ever happened to you or the family. Just this little space to start your own recollections means that every reader can feel they are a part of the Wild Ride of women everywhere.
Dr. Jacqueline Jeynes is a writer of non-fiction books, courses, and articles. See www.jacquelinejeynes.com for more of her reviews.