The Second My Life Changed Forever…Stories of Life Changing Moments. By Eileen Doyon. Book Review.

 Click on the cover to buy the book.

This book is part of the Unforgettable Faces and Stories Series. In this series, Eileen Doyon collects true stories under a specific theme. This book is about incidents such as deaths, births, beginning a new business venture, meeting someone who will play a significant part in your life, etc. They are told in the person’s own words and usually consist of one and a half to five pages. If you enjoy the structure of Chicken Soup for the Soul books, this series will probably appeal to you.

There were approximately 45 stories in this 189 page book which contains about a third pictures and the occasional completely blank page. That leaves an average of about 2 1/2 pages per story. If you like these little snippets, then you’re probably going to enjoy this. I’m not a Chicken Soup fan because I like depth to my reading. However, I found the stories in the Chicken Soup series more stirring than this one, perhaps because they were rewritten by professional authors.


I felt the stories in Doyon’s book were lacking something. I wanted to get to know the people more, to get into their shoes. Some were so short it felt like I was reading a news account. I wish there had been about 10 stories with greater detail and more emotion. There were few that struck a chord. I’m the kind of woman who cries during long-distance telephone commercials, on Christmas morning, and kindergarten graduations, so it should have been easy to invoke an emotional response. But on the whole, I had to keep forcing myself to keep reading.

The writing skill definitely varied since these were told in the people’s own words. I think it is very difficult to dig deep and use vocabulary that conveys your most intense emotion in personal and life-changing moments, as anyone who has tried to write a memoir knows. As a result, I often did not feel I was sharing or living the moment with the authors. Writers would call this problem “show, don’t tell.”

I think it is admirable that Eileen Doyon has given a venue to people who want to share personal and important stories. I know she has touched many lives, readers and writers alike. I hope she continues her series but, perhaps, she might consider that sometimes less is more.


A copy of this book was generously donated by the author to my Little Free Library.

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

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