Stories of My Century by Mary Mathieson

stories of my century cover pictureStories of My Century is the delightful memoir of 95-year-old Mary Mathieson. She recalls the trials and tribulations and many happy memories of growing up in the last century.

Sadly, at the age of two, Mary lost her mother. But that didn’t stop her from living her life to the fullest with the love and support of her dad and three siblings. Mary trained to be a nurse and recalls the difficult training, but subsequent rewarding career, that took her all over Ontario. Despite training as a nurse, she always had a passion for writing and her enjoyment and wit shine through in the words.

The book is written with a candor and freshness that make you feel as if you are sitting in her living room enjoying a cup of tea with her, while you listen to the entertaining stories of her era. She talks about life and conveniences that we easily take for granted. It makes you realize how much has changed – from travel to technology, and the effect of living through the Depression and World Wars.

I visited Mary in Napanee to pick up copies of the book. I brought her a small gift of candies, and although grateful, she was a bit taken aback by it. She had only recently moved into the retirement home so I suggested she could share the candy with the other residents as an icebreaker to get to know them. “Linda,” she said, “I don’t need candy for that!”

Mary Mathieson is outgoing and friendly, and taught herself how to use a computer at the age of 90! Her positive outlook and energy come through on every page of this wonderful read.