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Carolyn has been a psychologist, a paramedic, a proof reader and several other things, not all of them beginning with P. A trucker, for example. She began writing the day she decided to try and see the world...doing both just to find out if she could. It made a change from teaching CPR to nightclub bouncers and designing wedding cakes. When excerpts from her first travelogue were published by the Rough Guides she decided to keep on doing both.
Carolyn maintains that she is either multi-faceted or easily bored, depending on who is enquiring. Born and bred in London, England, Carolyn and her son Ben are now Canadian citizens and live permanently in Kitchener, Ontario.
The Armchair Emigration series will comprise three books when the next is written, Carolyn would call it a trilogy, except that sounds a bit serious. Then there will be a comic novel (it has a title so far) two children's books and something serious to do with grief, loss and anger.
on Jan. 16, 2013 :
This book will appeal to two groups; truckers - and the majority of the rest of us who could not be strong armed into getting behind the wheel of a semi for all the tea in China (that’s me). Both groups will find themselves smiling at every paragraph, chuckling at every page and laughing out loud at least once every chapter. And not because Steele makes truck driving seem easy but rather that it leaves no doubt, anywhere, as to how difficult it really is, especially for a diminutive, middle aged English woman driving in the great white north known as Canada, and in the U.S.
Steele takes us along for the entire ride, from when the idea first occurred to her, through every lesson and every escapade, to the day she hung up her pink brimmed baseball cap for the last time. All of this is accomplished with a droll wit, humour and honesty that is both refreshing and appealing. I’m not kidding about how many laughs there are. Steele knows how to look at life and at herself in a way that makes the most hair-raising situation funny. The whole time I was sitting holding my breath (something Steele had to keep reminding herself NOT to do) waiting for the worst, like waiting to off a cliff in the Rockies or backing blind into a spot with only an inch wiggle room, I was also smiling or laughing. One would think those two cannot happen in the same sentence. They do. Steele kept me both on the edge of my seat and in stitches at the same time, right to the last page.
Some of the funniest moments did not occur behind the wheel. Picture being a woman, with no toilet available for the next 2 hours, and temperatures so cold your “wee” freezes before it hits the ground as you hang by the side of your truck with your backside exposed. Now that’s intrepid.
(reviewed long after purchase)