“At 25 I thought I knew everything. At 60 I realize there is still much to learn.”
So says award-winning Little Britain-based author Pauline Kiely who, in 2018, published “No Poverty Between the Sheets” – a feisty, raucous and raw tale of life in a large Irish – French Canadian family. Originally intended to be “Granny’s Antics”, Kiely soon discovered that the narrative within her was more than just a collection of stories; rather, it was the beginning of a multi-generational journey of lessons learned, told with the unabashed humour borne of both her Irish and French-Canadian heritage.
Kiely always knew her story, and that of her family, needed to be told as a trilogy, and “Ricochet Rodeo” was subsequently released in February 2021. Work on the final chapter in the trilogy, “Heart of the Horse”, is now underway.
Of her memoirs, Kiely says “For certain generations, these are difficult reads. They open up the sores so people realize they aren’t alone.” Her biggest fan base is the more senior population. “These people get it. They’ve lived a life. If theirs wasn’t a struggle, they knew someone whose was. And they understand the humour because that’s what helps us survive,” she explains, adding “I’m not writing off the young audience. They just need to be willing to accept what life is about, be open to learning from its hard truths, and know when to laugh.”
Remarking on “Ricochet Rodeo” she says the book is brutally honest, and not for the faint of heart. “I write of things I’m not always proud of, but they are things which need to be laid bare.”
An avid horsewoman, Kiely draws parallels between herself and the animals she loves. Noting that a horse is a flight animal which will run from trauma and danger she says, “I did the same thing – after acknowledging trauma I would ignore it, walk away from it, lock it away.”
She learned about facing that which she kept hidden by working with horses who had their own traumas to overcome. “The Creator has given me the gift of horses, and they in turn have given me lessons from which I have learned so much.”
Kiely’s philosophy speaks to the journey that is life; “I feel in telling my truth I can encourage others to see theirs. We’re all just people struggling to survive and be the best version of ourselves. That’s all I am.”
“No Poverty Between the Sheets”, the Silver Award winner for Canada East division in the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards, and “Ricochet Rodeo” are available in Lindsay at Coles, Kent Bookstore and Kawartha Lakes Library; in Peterborough at Chapters; and through her website, www.paulinekiely.com.
By Belinda Wilson