About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

47 Days: A Journey Back Home by Amanda Perrot

47 Days: A Journey Back Home by Amanda Perrot - It was a journey of “self-discovery” for Amanda around Saskatchewan in the summer of 2018. 

She grew up in St. Brieux, a community of 600, about 40 kilometers from Melfort. I know some of her family. I bought the book from her after she spoke to the Melfort Rotary Club of which Sharon and I are members.

She had done well in high school, earned a degree at university, found a good job as a geologist in Calgary, paid off debts, fell hard for Matt and married him. They returned to St. Brieux and bought into her mother’s business and then the marriage, the relationship which had flowed so easily, failed.

Amanda speaks of Matt not listening and of Matt talking of wanting to stay together but not acting on the words.

She was a bruised soul after the breakup. She went through a winter of endless reflection. In her mid-30’s she was seeking a way to move forward. A text about a rental truck inspired her to make a trip around Saskatchewan in her truck and promoting her business, Grounded Goodness. Two of her leading products are decals and tee shirts.

One of her tee shirts reflects a part of her personality. It reads:

Don’t be a dick.

On its meaning:

Our mission is to spread goodness and we recognized that sometimes to be the most kind, you need to be blunt!

On her journey she wanted to meet women who:

“.... will have gone through some shit in their lives lately. They will be figuring out how to regain confidence. They will be craving connection with other like-minded women, to know that they’re not alone.”

She names the trip Saskatchewan Sisterhood: The Power of Women’s Voices.

She begins her journey in Melfort at the park named for her niece, Dayna, who died at 3 from cancer. The loss is still deep in Amanda. I remember the pain at that funeral.

Having spent my life in Saskatchewan I can see all the places she visited.

Not many write of the people of rural Saskatchewan. Amanda writes of the openness and directness of the women of our province. There is not as much as I expected about their rural lifestyles. There is a lot about Amanda’s life in the country.

Her book reflects the vast spaces of Saskatchewan, the hours it takes between destinations, the need to be comfortable with being by yourself. During the 47 days she travels 5,820 kilometers around Saskatchewan.

She experiences emotional highs and lows every day of her journey. Her mood swings from ecstatic to depressed and back again.

The journey is focused around presentations to which women are invited to come and listen and talk.

What is most interesting is reading of the interactions with the women who come to her presentations. They share honestly and openly their struggles in life.

Basic truths such as people are reluctant to change are affirmed during the journey. In reflecting on that reluctance she realizes she was wrong in her marriage to try to force her husband to change. I admire her effort at introspection. With regard to divorce I have found most women and men find it hard to be honest about their own flaws and how they impacted the marriage.

Her emotional journey during the 47 days is encapsulated in the sub-title:

Learning to trust yourself, even after you’ve failed.

While a vibrant confident woman she calls herself a failure after the marital breakup. During her journey she becomes less harsh in her self-assessment.

Amanda is crude at times and constantly profane. She makes no effort to filter the language of her life. Her energy, enthusiasm and openness are daunting and inspiring.

As with most people she despises being judged while judging everyone she meets.

Amanda pulls the reader irresistibly along her journey. She writes vividly and passionately. You want to know what adventure, what sorrow, what joy is on the next page.

While I enjoyed 47 Days it is a book written for women. Amanda writes that men were able, even invited by her, to attend every event. At the same time there is not a reference to a man attending a session. Her father was the one male to have a significant role in the book.

At the end I did wonder what would happen if she made another journey and invited the men of Saskatchewan to come to presentations. Could she facilitate a brotherhood trip? Would men come and be open with each other and with Amanda? She certainly swears enough to put men at ease. I think Amanda has the skills to draw men out. 

Amanda has been thinking about the possibilities for men. She said on the Facebook page for Grounded Goodness she can see doing something "about creating spaces for MEN" somewhere down the road.

On the same post she sets out a weekend retreat for men which is being held in early October this fall at Christopher Lake. It will be led by a man.

Do Sisterhoods have to be led by Sisters and Brotherhoods led by brothers? I am sending this review by email to Amanda and asked for her thoughts. If she chooses to reply I will include her response in another post.


  1. This certainly sounds like an interesting and even intimate look at the lives of Saskatchewan women, Bill. I have to say I like that line of yours: As with most people she despises being judged while judging everyone she meets. I think that is really true of a lot of people. And this does sound like a unique sort of lens through which to see the province. I'm glad you felt that connection to the book.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. It is a unique book about Saskatchewan for me. Amanda is energetic and optimistic.

  2. Yes, sisterhoods have to be led by women. There is still great inequality and discrimination against women, not to mention harassment and worse. Women understand this. Most have experienced all of it.

    1. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. As always your position is crystal clear.

  3. Yes, my position is clear. But just to be clear, I had a great father whom I miss a lot and two wonderful partners. And I have male friends, one whom I've known for decades. We email each other about mysteries, Camilleri, Vargas, others. And I have nice male neighbors. And a longtime male doctor.
    However, just from hearing other women over the years, there are problems and issues women have and want to share with other women. Even married women I know have female best friends whom they share a lot with. And young women have issues today that differ in some ways from what my generation went through. Social lives and relationships are more complex. Break-ups are very tough. Women usually rely on other women to help support them. (I've done this through email for some friends far away.) So many things are difficult now -- college, debt, getting decent jobs, living arrangements, independence, etc. Much can be discussed with friends of all genders. But some problems women prefer to talk to each other about, at least my generation. Maybe younger folks are more open to each other for discussions and support. But if women have problems in relationships with men, chances are they want to hang out with and discuss them with other women -- those who've gone through it.

    1. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. In my law practice every day I spend some of my time dealing with family law files. I represent both men and women. In the context of the legal issues concerning marital breakups I speak with them on difficult issues. The conversations are often emotional. I have appreciated the openness of men and women to talk about their issues so we can work to get the best result for them.

  4. You're in a unique position. I have a male friend (a lawyer) who I have discussed a lot of things with, family, etc. But there are things I wouldn't discuss with him.

    1. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. There are strong reasons why conversations with your lawyer are confidential. And if you have confidence in your counsel you can have the openness needed for your issues.

  5. Not everything. There are boundaries.
    By the way, I got Attica Locke's new book, "Heaven, My Home," out of the library. Can't wait to read it.

    1. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. Many issues are best dealt with family, friends and other professionals.

      I will be looking for Attica's book when I am next in a bookstore.