Born on her pioneering grandfather's farm in Manitoba, Canada in 1914, V. A. Kyle-Bowyer started her roaming lifestyle at 18 when she moved to North Bay, Ontario in 1932 to live with her aunt. There she met, married and moved to San Diego in 1937. She joined the Canadian Women's Army Corps in 1942, became a First Lieutenant in 1943 and was sent to Britain during WWII. Her post-war life was spent moving between Spain, Kenya and Canada. She has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, travelled to Africa’s Mountains of the Moon, sailed through the Suez Canal twice and has run with the bulls in Spain, among many other adventures. An amazing woman, she has lived an exciting life which she narrates fluidly and with an eye for detail in this book. It is a life of adventure.
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Oct 15, 2009
"African Mornings and Spanish Nights " This is not a self-help or how-to book. It's a memoir. For anyone who has any doubt about what an individual - anyone - can accomplish, this is a must-read. Of course, we don't know all the people mentioned, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that the author has made a remarkable life for herself and, most important, by herself. The attention to detail and the flow and movement of the book puts us wherever the author is -- in Canada or Kenya or Spain -- and we begin to feel that we are travelling with her. As I read, I found myself living vicariously through the author. It made me realize that nothing is impossible and it is never too late to realize dreams. It's evident that the author is a woman of action. She gets things done. For example, as an entrepreneur, she opened learning and recreation centers abroad, among other things, and even got involved in apple orchards after retirement! And always she is learning and studying,... More > everything from languages to history. Val has a knack for getting to know others and has acquired a vast array of friends - real friends. Did I mention her marriages? My gut feeling is that this book would make a wonderful movie - adventurous, colorful with a cast of interesting characters. If I accomplish a smidgen of what Val has, I'm doing well. What an inspiration! My hats off to V.A. Kyle-Bowyer! B. Markowitz< Less
Here's a letter received by the Publisher from a reader: Dear Velma: I hope you don't mind me calling you that but I feel that I know you! My mum recently sent me your book and I wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading it. You have certainly had a most interesting life, but at the same time it has been your tenacity, love of adventure and seizing chances with both hands, that has led down these many paths. Well done! Too many people are stuck in their comfort zone these days, expecting life to come to them. Your experiences in Spain reminded me so much of when we bought (and later sold) an apartment in Minorca, in San jaime outside of Mahon. All our experiences with Spanish "speed" and "efficiency" were not quite like we were used to ... but such a lovely part of the world and such friendly people. I have taught English as a second language for 17 years and could relate to your experiences with this part of your life ... I have found it such an interesting and... More > rewarding job. Despite much travelling from an early age, unfortunately I have never visited Africa. However, it's not so very far from Western Australia (where I live) so I hope I'll get there soon. I am so glad you were persuaded to write your memoirs for us to enjoy and I have passed on your book to the first in a long line of friends who want to share it. Very best wishes... Berenice< Less
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