Kathleen (Kathy) Pooler and I met virtually a couple of years ago while hanging out on Google+, talking about – you guessed it – memoirs. And we’ve been buddies ever since sharing our books, sharing about memoir writing techniques and dos and don’ts, and forever wishing we’d someday meet in person. Alas, that hasn’t happened yet. However, I’m pleased to be in her company any way I can.
Today I’m reintroducing Kathy on Choices (see her other guest appearances here and here) during her WOW! Women on Writing book tour, and I congratulate her on her powerful and brave memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead : My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse, a true life, tears-to-triumph story of self-defeating detours and dreams lost and found.
About Ever Faithful to His Lead:
A young woman who loses sight of the faith she has been brought up with attempts to find her way in the world, rejecting her stable roots in lieu of finding adventure and romance. Despite periods of spiritual renewal in which she receives a prophecy, she slides back, taking several self-defeating detours that take her through a series of heartbreaking events.
When Kathy’s second husband, Dan’s verbal abuse escalates, Kathy finally realizes she must move on before she and her children become a statistic.
How does a young woman who came from a stable, loving family make so many wise choices when it came to career, but so many wrong choices when it came to love, so that she ended up sacrificing career and having to flee in broad daylight with her children from an abusive marriage? What is getting in her way and why does she keep taking so many self-defeating detours?
The story opens up the day Kathy feels physically threatened for the first time in her three-year marriage to her second husband. This sends her on a journey to make sense of her life and discern what part she has played in the vulnerable circumstance she finds herself in.
She must make a decision–face her self-defeating patterns that have led to this situation and move on or repeat her mistakes. Her life and the lives of her two children are dependent upon the choices she makes and the chances she takes from this point forward.
My review of Ever Faithful to His Lead:
Throughout Kathy Pooler’s powerful memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead, she asks the question over and over: How could I have come from a loving and stable family and make so many wrong decisions for myself and my children? And even though she knows in her deepest gut that these decisions were wrong, she continues to believe everything will turn out okay in the end. Two failed marriages later, she finally gets the message. She doesn’t live in the world of make believe. Not all romances end happily ever after. It is at this point that she begins to trust herself and use her own power to create a happy life for herself and her children.
Having grown up in the sixties and seventies as Kathy did, I can understand where these thoughts came from. In those days husbands took care of their wives and children, and if a woman worked outside of the marriage, as Kathy and I did, our income was just a supplement to our husband’s. Although Kathy was a college graduate in nursing, she gave up job after job to move where her husband wanted to live and work. She just followed, not even listening to her children’s fears and complaints, because she believed her husband knew what was best. Never mind that her first husband was an irresponsible drunk and her second husband’s moods were so erratic he could have been bipolar.
Other people who have reviewed Ever Faithful to His Lead applaud it as a book that should be read by women who have experienced marital abuse. I think it is more than that. This book is meant to show how powerful women can be at any age. It is a lesson for women just starting out in a marriage, in a career, just out of school and finding her way on her own, or well into middle age. Because Kathy’s story resonated so much with me and touched me deeply, I give it a well-deserved five stars.
Kathy and I are peers. Our stories have a lot of similarities. I too was in college when I met the man who would be my first husband. And being tall, dark, and handsome he immediately swept me off my feet. Three weeks after our meeting he proposed marriage, I accepted, and within six months we were married. Kathy also rushed into her first marriage.
My first husband also liked to drink and go out with his buddies like Kathy’s first husband Ed. It was probably because he was determined to take my virginity almost immediately that I decided to go through with the marriage even though I knew it was a mistake. Since I was no longer a virgin, who would want to marry a “ruined” woman? Of course that was just the early 1960s talking.
And like Kathy, I spent many nights home alone crying. Although my husband never physically abused me, I knew my marriage was over when he showed no sympathy after my miscarriage. He never came to visit while I spent three days in hospital afterward. Perhaps that would be called emotional abuse.
Since I had a good paying job I realized I could take care of myself, so I left him after 3-1/2 years. Probably had I had that child I wouldn’t have been so brave. I would have struggled on as Kathy did trying to keep her family together.
Kathy and I had another thing in common. We both loved to listen to Helen Reddy belt out her iconic song, “I Am Woman,” in the 1970s. We were both women of that era, both wanting to have it all and do it all. And we did.
Although Ever Faithful to His Lead is a memoir it reads like literary fiction. We can see the locations and get to know the characters through spot-on dialogue and a sensitive showing of emotions. Kathy’s writing is clear and sparse. It makes for an excellent fast read.
Kudos to Kathy for writing about her brave struggle to raise two children mostly as a single parent, work at her cherished career as a nurse, and finally use the power within her to find happiness after her two failed marriages.
Kathleen Pooler is an author and a retired family nurse practitioner. Her memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse, published on July 28.2014 and work-in-progress sequel, Hope Matters: A Memoir are about how the power of hope through her faith in God helped her to transform, heal and transcend life’s obstacles and disappointments: domestic abuse, divorce, single parenting, loving and letting go of an alcoholic son, cancer and heart failure to live a life of joy and contentment. She believes that hope matters and that we are all strengthened and enlightened when we share our stories. She lives with her husband Wayne in eastern New York, and she blogs weekly at her Memoir Writer’s Journey blog: http://krpooler.com
Where to Find Kathy and More Information about Her Book:
LinkedIn: Kathleen Pooler: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/kathleen-pooler/16/a95/20a
Google+:Kathleen Pooler: https://plus.google.com/109860737182349547026/posts
Personal page: Kathy Pooler: https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.pooler
Author page: Kathleen Pooler/Memoir Writer’s Journey: https://www.facebook.com/memoirwritersjourney
One of her stories “The Stone on the Shore” is published in the anthology: “The Woman I’ve Become: 37 Women Share Their Journeys From Toxic Relationships to Self-Empowerment” by Pat LaPointe, 2012.
Another story: “Choices and Chances” is published in the “My Gutsy Story Anthology” by Sonia Marsh, September, 2013.
Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir is available as an e-book and paperback at Amazon:
Publisher: Open Books Press (July 22, 2014)
Twitter hashtag: #EFaithPooler
Kathy’s WOW! Blog Tour Dates:
Monday, October 6 @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!bhttp://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/
Tuesday, October 7 @ Choices
Find out what fellow memoir writer Madeline Sharples thinks after reading Kathleen Pooler’s memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir. http://madeline40.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, October 8 @ All Things Audry
Join Kathleen Pooler as she explores “How a Nurse Learns to Care for Herself” as she visits All Things Audry with her memoir Ever Faithful to His Lead. Kathleen is generously offering an ebook copy of Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir to one lucky winner of a giveaway. Thank you to both Kathleen and Audry! http://allthingsaudry.blogspot.com/
Friday, October 10 @ Sherrey Meyer
Join Kathleen Pooler as she writes a guest post titled “Writing as a Pathway to Healing” and shares her thoughts with author and friend, Sherrey Meyer. Find out more about Kathleen and her insightful memoir Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir. http://sherreymeyer.com/author/sherreya/
Monday, October 13 @ Women’s Writing Circle
Kathleen Pooler sits down with Susan Weidener for a friendly conversation about how Kathleen crowdfunded her memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir. http://www.susanweidener.com/
Tuesday, October 14 @ Lauren Scharhag
Don’t miss Kathleen Pooler’s interview with Lauren Scharhag as these ladies discuss the hot topic of memoir. Find out more about Kathleen and her own Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir http://laurenscharhag.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, October 14 @ Vera’s Version
Join Kathleen Pooler as she guest blogs about “How Writing Memoir Helped Me Find Self-Forgiveness” at Vera’s Version and shares insight into her memoir Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir. http://verasversion.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, October 15 @ About Amish
Kathleen Pooler and her memoir Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir makes a stop to visit Saloma Furlong at About Amish where you can read Saloma’s review and get in a giveaway for an opportunity to read Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir for yourself! http://salomafurlong.com/aboutamish/
Thursday, October 16 @ Lisa Haselton
Join Lisa Haselton as she interviews Kathleen Pooler and we all learn more about Kathleen’s memoir Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir. http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/
Friday, October 17 @ Jerry Waxler
Author, Friend, and Fellow Memoir Writer Jerry Waxler reviews Kathleen Pooler’s Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir. http://www.jerrywaxler.com/
Monday, October 20 @ Romance Junkies
Join Kathleen Pooler as she stops at Romance Junkies for an insightful interview about herself and her memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir. http://www.romancejunkies.com/rjblog/
Tuesday, October 21 @ Mary Gottschalk
Kathleen Pooler shares her latest project: Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir as she visits with friend and fellow author Mary Gottschalk and fittingly writes about “Girlfriends Matter.” This is a blog stop you won’t want to miss! http://marycgottschalk.com/home/
Wednesday, October 22 @ CMash Reads
Join memoir writer Kathleen Pooler as she guest posts at CMash Reads. Kathleen will share her story of “Writing Through the Pain” and tell more about her popular memoir Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir. http://cmashlovestoread.com/
Thursday, October 23 @ Bring on Lemons
Hear what Crystal Otto has to say as she reviews Kathleen Pooler’s Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey to Memoir. Kathleen Pooler has graciously provided a copy of her memoir for one lucky reader to win via a giveaway! http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/
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