Powerful You! Little memoirs of inspirational women by Anna Burgess tells the abbreviated stories of five women and the author. It also includes a memorial to an elderly friend of the author, Raymond Farrell. Encouraging commentary is interspersed throughout the book, designed to inspire women confronting life’s obstacles.
It’s not a long or difficult read. The women’s stories are moving. These women overcame challenges that included homelessness, divorce, illness and death of a parent, thriving as a single mother, surviving cancer, and starting a nonprofit.
Although the author repeatedly reiterates that this book is for every woman, it seems as if the target audience was actually the author’s friends and family, rather than for public consumption. For this to be a coaching book, which I’m not convinced it was meant to be, questions after each story to help the reader reflect on her own life would have been good. As it was, the message was, “See these women! They overcame adversity, and so can you!” but without any clear direction on how someone could do that.
Several times, the author states that if just one woman is inspired, then her book will have been a success. I think she sells herself short. The book has the potential of helping thousands of women find direction, with a bit of work.
Each woman’s excerpt was interesting but no more than a few paragraphs except for the author. The author’s own story, while moving, needed some content editing. It seemed that she wrote in a stream of consciousness and then couldn’t bear to go back and edit out redundancies or irrelevant information. The final chapter dedicated to Raymond, the elderly gentleman, seemed out of place in this book geared toward women.
I noticed no grammar or spelling issues in the text, which made it a nice read. Anyone who enjoys reading about others’ life stories would enjoy this book. Those that are looking for help with their in-depth soul-searching processes will need to look elsewhere.
I received an ARC from Reedsy Discovery. You can find my review here.