It may be a shameless promotion, but I don’t do it often, and since I just released my new book Fifteen First Times, a week ago, I was thrilled to find some have already read, enjoyed, and reviewed it. I also picked up a few other beautiful reviews for three of my other books, and am thrilled to share. I am also thrilled to announce that my book, Fifteen First Times is NOW AVAILABLE in Paperback.
And thank you to Carol Balawyder – https://carolbalawyder.com/2022/12/19/d-g-kaye-fifteen-first-times/comment-page-1/#comment-27072 and Marjorie Mallon – https://mjmallon.com/2022/12/20/book-review-fifteen-first-times-pokercubster-memoir-review/ and D.L. Finn – https://dlfinnauthor.com/2022/09/12/september-book-reviews-part-2-bookreviews-whattoread-readersoftwitter-writingcommunity/ and Sally Cronin – https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/12/21/smorgasbord-christmas-book-fair-book-review-memoir-fifteen-first-times-beginnings-a-collection-of-indelible-firsts-by-d-g-kaye/comment-page-1/#comment-651625, for sharing their lovely reviews of my new book on their blogs.
Fifteen First Times
D.L. Finn‘s review
Dec 16, 2022
it was amazing
“Fifteen First Times” is a group of personal stories told in a humorous yet perceptive manner. It felt like I was sitting with Ms. Kaye having a cup of tea while she shared some of her life stories. I found it easy to relate to a first kiss, first heartbreak, or first-time driving. It got me reflecting on many of my firsts and how I navigated life after. The author’s strength, fashion sense, and humor shined through the words, painting a picture of her moments. This is a book of youthful reflections and what we can learn from all our firsts. There was also a loving dedication to her departed husband that touched my soul. This is a beautiful collection of coming-of-age stories I can easily recommend.
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal, funny and emotional memoir
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 December 2022
Fifteen first times is a lovely memoir by D G Kaye. Reading it I recalled many of my first times too! In this short memoir, she mentions memories such as her diets, first kiss, colouring her hair, Christmas tree, first apartment, getting her driving licence, travel to Israel and Europe and much more. It is a personal, and relatable collection which I enjoyed.
I think it would be enjoyed by all and in particular bloggers, writers (a lot of the content is female centric such as the short section on first period!) This is a topic that needs to be spoke about openly! So hats off to D G Kaye for being so honest sharing her personal memories.
She also shares her sadness at loss of several family members, a dear friend Alba and her much loved husband.
So, at times humourous, sometimes poignant, a sneak peak into the author’s life.
A recommended read.
My review for the book December 21st 2022
The author has a natural conversational style of writing that draws you in as if she is talking to you personally. Her memories prompt the reader’s own experiences at similar ages, and raises a smile or two at the similarities between girls of a certain age, however many thousands of miles they live apart.
This is particularly true in this collection of stories as Kaye shares episodes from her childhood such as playing in her mother’s stiletto shoes which would fuel a lifetime’s love of footwear, a first kiss, and taking that first puff of a parent’s discarded cigarette.
With the smiles comes the tears, as we identify the moments of loneliness and isolation as a girl becomes a woman without the support needed from a mother, a dysfunctional family life, and the loss of a much loved friend who shared the formative years between teens and late twenties.
At the end of the collection is a wonderful tribute to her late husband, who made her laugh every day and was the first and last love of her life.
D.G. Kaye writes with poignancy but also great humour, which makes these first times all the more delightful and memorable. The experiences are not just relevant to girls growing up, as many are relateable to boys and young men coping with the cultural and social expectations of the day, and finding their way in life and relationships. Take a walk down the memory lane of your own life in very good company. Highly recommended.
Our experiences are stepping stones for much of what feeds our character. We live, we experience, we learn, we become, and we overcome.
I always look forward to reading D.G. Kaye’s books because I know they will be authentic, witty, and compelling.
Throughout D.G. Kaye’s latest memoir, she draws her readers in by sharing her past experiences. A reader can easily relate to fifteen real talk stories that cover topics such as her obsession with shoes, her hilarious experience with her first Christmas tree, her disastrous experiment with changing from blonde to redhead, her first kiss, and many more firsts, at times bittersweet, including the death of a close friend.
In particular, I found her tribute to her beloved husband to be so very touching. She writes how no man could make her laugh. In the past laughter for her “could mask so many scars, aches, and insecurities….It was always me making someone else laugh…That was until I met my husband. Here was a man who made me laugh.”
During this Christmas season, if you’re feeling stressed like many of us are, I highly recommend this book. Relax and give yourself this gift for the holiday season. Your heart will likely smile as you reflect on some of your firsts and take a journey down your own memory lane.
P.S. I Forgive You
Reviewed by Mac Trish (Alex Craigie) Dec. 12, 2022
This book is a painfully honest account of the author’s fractured relationship with her narcissistic mother.
Throughout Ms Gies’ childhood and into adulthood, her mother not only neglected her and her three siblings, but also ate away at their self-esteem and terrorized them into obedience. The mother’s volatility, frequent absences, lack of interest in their achievements and lives, and the exploitation, punishments and bare-faced lying made for a nightmare scenario that
was endured with a loyalty that in the end became so severely strained, it shattered.
It is clear that the author did everything she could to understand and excuse her mother’s behaviour. It is also clear that she was desperate for her to demonstrate some motherly affection, but none was forthcoming. The hateful responses and the game-playing took such a toll that in the end, in a desperate attempt for self-preservation, she cut her mother out of her
life. ‘I crested the wave of poison my mother tried to drown me with, and I snapped’.
The empathy Ms Gies had for her parent clearly made the situation very painful for her. When it became clear that her mother was dying, she struggled with her feelings, but she couldn’t bring herself to go to her because she was afraid of being damaged yet again by another of her vicious barbs.
After the death, came the soul-searching. I found the turmoil the author facedheartbreaking. ‘Guilt doesn’t subside; it resides in the hidden nooks and crannies of our hearts’. She did all she could to try and understand what had made her mother like this, but there were no easy answers. In the end, she knew that she couldn’t rest herself unless she
could forgive her mother and release her own bitterness and resentment. She writes ‘So I set her free of her sins, and in turn I set myself free’.
This is a beautiful book and one that had a profound impact on me. It is to the author’s credit that she takes such an honest and candid approach. It is truly remarkable that she was able to forgive someone who had hurt her so badly.
Have Bags Will Travel reviewed by D.L. Finn
This was a quick, fun read for all those adventurous souls who love to travel or read about it. It took us back to days of more effortless traveling, to current times when there’s a lot more involved. Told in a personal, humorous tone, I immediately connected to the antidotes told. I’m glad I’m not the only one who over packs and then had to pay for it when checking the luggage. I shook my head, knowing how hard it is to get traveling purchases home in luggage — and through customs. Luckily, I’ve only had my bags searched once. I can’t imagine being a target when I came back to my country. I thoroughly enjoyed this; it not only made me want to travel but long for the good old days when planes offered more room. This ends with some sound advice for traveling that includes a luggage scale. An excellent read for travelers!
Twenty Years: After “I Do”
Reviewed in the United States on November 4, 2022
Twenty Years: After “I Do” is a memoir by D.G. Kaye regarding her 20-year marriage to Gordon, a kind man 20 years her senior. While I believe the author wrote this book for people in a similar situation that have a spouse considerably older or younger, I think it is an essential read for any married couple.
Having read previous books by this writer, I knew I would get honesty and humor—two elements that make any read better. Kaye doesn’t try to sugarcoat anything and describes the many challenges married partners face, particularly in her situation, having a much older husband.
Some priceless nuggets included the importance of a sense of humor, communicating about and listening to each other’s problems, giving each additional space to follow individual hobbies and passions, and being flexible enough to take on different roles over the years.
I liked that there were so many relatable topics—health challenges, hearing loss, and depression, just to name a few.