The Olive Picker: A Memoir is one of the most sorrowful, endearing, loving, and triumphant reads from someone who lived through a childhood of change, loss, isolation, and abuse. Kathi's recounting of her early adulthood is filled with challenge, periods of relative contentment, and then the incredible near-death incident of abuse. She came out of that still full of life, love, adventure, and determination which has finally given her the wonderful life (and true love) that she so truly deserves. Kathi's life is proof that one can overcome horrendous obstacles without self-pity and anger, and can inspire those in similar circumstances to move forward in grace, love, and determination. Kathi tells her story in a personable way, with humor, sincerity, and openness. Bravo, Kathi! ~ mtzee
"Some books are simply 'unputdownable' and THE OLIVE PICKER is one of them. From the opening paragraph in which author Kathryn Brettell clings to life in an ambulance to the next chapter in her therapist's office to the next, which takes the reader back to her conflicted childhood, this book grabs the reader by the scruff and never lets go. The writing is so simple, clean and powerful that one is barely aware of the very act of reading, immersion into the story becomes so total.
While one might compare the pacing to such titles as THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, this book has an underlying theme far more powerful than any murder mystery. Abuse is a difficult topic that should be handled in such a way so that one avoids appearing like a victim or becomes lost in a morass of the events. This author carefully picks her battles, skillfully inserting them into the storyline, building momentum and suspense.
Although readers know the outcome from the beginning, the journey is so convoluted and original they may likely feel compelled to come along for the ride, even if it means reading into the wee hours of the night." ~ Judge, 3rd Annual Writer's Digest Self Published eBook Awards