If you asked me which book has most influenced my life, it would probably be this one. I first read Little Women when I was six or seven years old, and it's stayed with me to this day. The truth is, I had very few books and I read it so many times I almost had it memorized.

But the reason I read it over and over is because it made me feel so good. I completely identified with Jo March. Still do. And although I cried for Beth every single time, I loved the fact that Jo had a happy ending. 

If I had to pick another book, I'd choose the sequels, Little Men and Jo's Boys.

I've always said I actually did become Jo because I'm a writer; I married a man who has been a genuine partner, both challenging and supporting me; and we have four sons and nine grandkids, so our lives are full.

Over my life I've read thousands of books. I read fairly quickly, although I know others who read much faster, including my second son. I write very few book reviews, so when I do write one, it means the book has really meant something to me.

A Few Books That Have Impacted Me 

If you’ve ever watched in frustration wondering why on earth someone in an abusive relationship didn’t get out at the first sign of trouble, I have a book you need to read. The title is Off the Map: Follow Me Out of Domestic Abuse. Jacquie Brown, the woman who wrote the book, says she was

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Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball, by R. A. Dickey, with Wayne Coffey. We’ve all had painful experiences in our past. Some more painful than others. Many of us are able to deal with those experiences and keep going. But some of us either try to pretend the

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I first posted this review in August of 2013 after picking up the book at the Write! Canada conference. This year, I was present at The Word Awards on June 11th where author Carolyn Weber won the $5,000 Grace Irwin Award for the best book published in 2013 from a Canadian writer who is Christian.

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While researching the effects of adoption during the late 1940s, 50s, and 60, I kept reading that many of the young women who had given up their babies were never able to fully grieve their losses. Some, in fact, had managed to keep their pregnancy a secret from everyone in their lives, including their spouse and

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After deciding I wanted to learn more about what it was like for a woman in Canada’s prairies to be an unwed mother in the late 1940s to the late 1960s, I was pleased to discover our local library had a book written by a woman who grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1968, I

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When I was four years old, my mother told me I was adopted. I said something along the lines of “Okay.” And that was, essentially, that. Forty-four years later, I met my birth mother. But even after meeting her, I really didn’t think much about it. I wasn’t angry or upset that I’d been adopted.

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If you haven’t read part 1 of this post, click here.  6. In the years from 1945 to 1973, closed adoption was virtually a given for most unwed young women. Prior to 1945, illegitimate children were usually given to a family member or someone the family knew—either to be raised as their own, or until

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A couple of years ago, I had a character in one of the novels “go to her aunt’s” when she was young. I’d heard the phrase somewhere along the way and remembered it was a common cover story for young, unmarried women who were pregnant. In my novel, the woman is old, and she’d “gone

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If you haven’t read Part 1, please click here. Thirty years after she was a resident at a home for unwed mothers, Anne Petrie interviewed a number of other women from across Canada. In addition to telling her own story, Anne profiles six other birth mothers in detail and also mentions comments from other interviews

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Click here if you haven’t read Part 1 or Part 2  At some point, the unwed mothers of Canada’s Baby Boom (1945 to the early 1970s) went to a local hospital to deliver their babies. Going to the Hospital Most of the women Anne Petrie interviewed, including some young girls, had no idea what was

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What to do when you’re feeling depressed? Read a hope-filled book. For the last four years or so, I’ve felt kind of overwhelmed. People being killed. So much lying and misinformation happening. Terrorist reports. Fears of white supremacy. Rogue police. Disagreements about water rights and climate control. Oil spills. Children without anyone to care for

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For most of my life, I’ve thought I was kind of weird. Or maybe that there was something wrong with me. Perhaps the easiest way to explain is to tell you how I write my short stories and novels. People are always talking about how to make fictional characters seem real. And there are lists

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