Author: Jane Carroll
Bertha-size Your Life

Reviewed By: Georgia Richardson


If I used one word to describe this book it would be, F-U-N. But then again, there\’s another; “revelations.” And yet another; “perspective.” My list goes on and on. I enjoyed this read so much that I finished in two days.

Jane Carroll opens her story with the “Empty Nest” blues as her last child leaves via the altar, but she quickly turns the theme around into a wonderful adventure of enlightenment, encouragement, and self-love. One that helps the reader in sorting out the past, the present, and the next fifty years. She shows us how to really live. That\’s life – with a capital “L.”

As the story begins, she\’s jogging in the park and meets a woman named Bertha. After friendly exchanges, the two decide the role of room-mates fits them well. As soon as Bertha moves in, life changes and might I say, all for the better. It truly gives new meaning to the phrase, “When the student is ready, – ” Bertha\’s lifestyle is all about taking time to smell the roses, literally on some days. She\’s offers how life is meant to be embraced, cherish, lived in the “now”, and how drifting is not an option. There\’s no room for “woe is me” in this book.

Each day (and Chapter) begins with a new adventure, and a flashy new wardrobe, I might add, by the simple question being asked, “Bertha, what are you doing?” I quickly learned that once these lines were read, Bertha would emerge; sometimes climbing on her soapbox and delivering “aha” moments, and other times using life-altering analogies coated with wisdom that couldn\’t be denied, no matter how far one\’s head is buried in the sand.

While each Bertha-sized adventure was fun, this book gives the reader much more than chuckles. In the end, you fully understand. It\’s like Bertha says, nothing is more important than feeling good about me, and it\’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Bertha helps you to connect with your inner child AND spirit, once again. She teaches us that letting go of some impossible situations, or people, is okay, and that fitting everyone into your life is not mandatory. Even complete acceptance of some situations can be a form of letting go. Another lesson; it\’s okay to distance yourself from concerns to gain a better perspective, even if this involves taking a day off work, wearing a silly hat and hitting the beach. Entitlement; it\’s a good thing.

Just who is this Bertha? She\’s you, me, and every other woman you\’ve known who needs to “listen” to her own voice and make the world be quiet.

Her mantra? Be as nice to yourself as you are to others.

In my opinion, a great place to start would be by reading, Bertha-size Your Life!

NABBW Contributing Author