A person I knew from the local poetry circuit contacted me after buying my memoir. She gave me permission to post her comments here. What strikes me, especially, is what Maria says in her third paragraph, because part of the reason I wrote my book was to help others give themselves “a break.” Too many of us decry our own worth, but we are all humans and all have something unique to offer.


Maria Di Danelli, Bronte, ON

I was finally able to finish your book, the other day…it took me awhile….this is partly because I haven’t been doing much reading, with the move and all lately…but also, your book doesn’t lend itself to being a quick read…it requires breaks for thought and reflection.

I loved the way you put it together…threading your story in with your visits to Dr Beal. And, of course, you write beautifully, which goes without saying. Your descriptions of your family members brought those persons to life for the reader.

But, there were elements that were less ‘beautiful’, in that they say some harsh and tragic things about us as humans…you brought this out very well. Our interconnectedness, in all its levels, rang loud in your account…and how thinking of ourselves as the problem, sometimes, can only spiral us into an undeserved private hell. I think this just struck a note with me, personally, as the last few years have seen me trying to separate my own limitations from what was ‘done to me’ by others as a result of theirs…if that makes sense. Rather than making me feel more culpable – by having to account for where I could have been stronger/better – it’s freed me to take responsibility, and hence, charge of, my personal direction. I feel like you touched on this in your book, also.

I’m so sorry for the unimaginably horrible things that were done to you, especially by your mother’s first husband….you’ve obviously had a long journey through that dark tunnel. I admire your being able to speak of it candidly. Thank you for writing this memoir…I hope you will consider writing other books, be it poetry or fiction.

Take care, Sheila!