ST. BRIEUX — The lessons a St. Brieux woman learned from a deeply personal cross-province tour held after a divorce has been published in a book.
“People in our province are amazing, and I think we don’t fully give ourselves credit for that,” said Amanda Perrot, author of 47 Days: A Journey Back Home.
“People don't realize how strong they are.”
Perrot’s book is the culmination of a summer of 15 speaking events to bring women together to share stories, and “remind women that they’re not alone. Whatever they happen to be going through, there are other women out there who are going through similar things or have gone through similar things.”
“We wouldn't choose a theme before hand, but what would happen during the event is that someone who would start to talk about, for example, grief and losing a loved one,” Perrot said.
From there, attendees would share openly their own experiences.
“I think that's the beautiful thing, when people in general get together and just have an honest conversation,” she said. “It's eye opening.”
The provincial event circuit itself was a means for Perrot to find connections after a divorce.
“I'm the only one in my family to be divorced, and I felt lonely in that. All of my friends are still married or still single,” she said. “I thought there's got to be other women out there that are just like me, so that’s when I started travelling around the province.”
In doing so, Perrot said she found women with experiences similar to her own – many of whom had already managed to move through it.
“I learned a lot from lots of women,” she said.
“I was like, ‘okay, if I don't capture this, it's going to disappear,’” Perrot said she thought following her summer, connecting with more than 1,000 people. “I need to write this book and get it out.’”
Despite no prior experience writing books, the first draft was completed in just two months.
“I would write and write and write. And it actually just really flowed out – it wasn't that difficult, which was surprising to me.”
It focused on Perrot’s own healing, and lessons learned from conversations across the province. It was published in March, and before long, reached the number one spot in Amazon.com’s divorce category.
“If people can read my book and say 'you know what, I can write a better story,' – either literally, or go and do something better – than I think that would be beautiful,” said Perrot.
“If I can encourage women to be themselves, to use their voices, to do what they need to do to tell their own stories, then I think that would be beautiful and amazing. That's my goal, to help people to use their voices.”