‘Fifteen first times’ by author D.G. Kaye is a light, heartwarming read that will leave you reminiscing your own fifteen first times, sweet events you may have forgotten along the way as life took over and bitter ones that hurt you so much, that you buried deep inside of you- basically, all the experiences that made you into the person you currently are.
About the book
The 92 page book is like I said, a quick, easy read. The honesty and simplicity with which D.G.Kaye shares her story is both refreshing and endearing. Whether it be her first kiss, her first love, her first time behind the steering wheel, her first driving accident, her first Christmas tree or her first experience with losing a friend, the author bares it all in a way that touches the right cord.
The author touches upon her emotionally difficult relationship with her mother, the crazy diets that led her to becoming a size 4 and looking anorexic, ending the diet and going to a size 16, being closer to her maternal aunt than her mother but knowing she could never share too much with her aunt as in her words, ‘her aunt’s first allegiance would always be towards her elder sister.’ It’s clear from the book that the author’s father was the one constant in her life who loved her unconditionally. She shares incidents that will make you smile, for instance, the first time she buys a Christmas tree unaware of how big it will turn when it thaws, the time she decides to change her hair color on her own, or the time she drives a car under her’s father’s supervision.
The author’s lack of awareness when the ‘Crimson tide,’ hit her for the first time (you have to read the book to understand what that means) resonated with me completely. In my case, my mom was too shy I suppose to talk about it. So, also, her feelings towards her paternal grandfather how she needed to guard her self-esteem to become confident.
I found the bit about getting the Christmas tree, decorating it and finally disposing it was both hilarious and informative as we’ve only ever kept imitation trees at home. I had no idea how much of a hassle a real tree is until I read the book. The author’s experiences on a six-week student trip to Europe, a gift given to her by her dad, on her eighteenth birthday, was entertaining. The trip involved a journey to London, Israel, France, Italy and Switzerland. About packing for the trip, she says, ‘Oh, sure they sent me a packing list beforehand, but shorts, bathing suits (plural) and sneakers were definitely not occupying my suitcase. So, I traveled and toured everywhere, from museums to galleries to ruins, in my four-inch high heels. I kid you not.’ This was another experience I could relate to as I strutted to the highest point of Europe in Germany in high-heeled wedges and needed my little girls, then 7 and 9, to help me up and down the slope.
Who is this book for?
There are a lot of takeaways in this book. Like they say, ‘Why make the mistake when you can learn the lesson from someone else’s?’ This book is just that- read it, learn from the author’s experiences and either make the same mistake with wisdom or avoid making it.
This book is for girls – sixteen and older. I’ve already asked my girls, who are 18 and 20 respectively, to read the book. The young ones will definitely gain from reading this book, knowing that they are not alone when it comes to having insecurities, heartaches, poor self-esteem during their growing-up years. Some experiences may vary depending on the culture you come from but by and large, reading the book makes you realize that irrespective of where one is born or the color of one’s skin, every girl goes through these feelings at some point in life or another.
The book is also for older women too as it will help them relive their youth by bringing back memories and leave them feeling proud of how far they’ve come.
What the author says about the book?
This book is a collection of stories about some of Kaye’s first-time experiences with life’s most natural events. Told through the intimate conversational writing we’ve come to know from this author, poignant personal steppingstones to learning moments are revealed. She encompasses the heart of each matter with sincerity and sprinkled inflections of humor.
From first kiss to first car to walking in the desert with four-inch heels, Kaye’s short coming-of-age stories take us through her awakenings and important moments of growth, often without warning. Some good and some not, life lessons are learned through trial and error, winging it, and navigating by the seat of her pants.
About the author
D.G. Kaye was born and resides in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace From Emotional Guilt, Meno-What? – A Memoir, Words We Carry, Have Bags, Will Travel, P.S. I Forgive You, and her newest release – Twenty Years: After “I Do”. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer and writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues. You can check out the author’s website here.
The book can be bought on Amazon by clicking here. The kindle version is $3.99 and the paperback version is $11.99.
The lovely cover has been designed by Unicorn Cats Publishing Services.
This is my second book in 2023. Check out this space if you enjoyed reading the review and are looking for books to read.
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