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The Olive Picker: A Memoir
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The Olive Picker: A Memoir

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  340 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
More than a memoir, The Olive Picker is a touching experience brimming with strength and triumph. Facing a horrific attack, a resourceful nurse must summon her wits or lose her life. In this brave and shocking memoir, the author masterfully guides us through the pivotal points of her life, from an abusive upbringing that destroys her self-confidence, to the wreckage of an ...more
Kindle Edition, 271 pages
Published May 2nd 2015 by Jazz Dog Press
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Kathi Brettell None, so far. But I did encourage family members to preview the manuscript prior to it going to print. I've received positive comments from all…moreNone, so far. But I did encourage family members to preview the manuscript prior to it going to print. I've received positive comments from all involved (who wanted to read it) and from cousins and in-laws alike. Having The Olive Picker read by a variety of people has been a very refreshing experience.(less)

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Liza Perrat
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Poignant, heartbreaking, and hopeful. A well-written and very entertaining memoir
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
The true story of the author's mostly terrible life, and how she finally turned things around and started really living. It was hard to read in places, due to the awful treatment she endured, but very well written and with a great "ending." Kept me turning the pages.
Blueink Review
Kathryn Brettell’s The Olive Picker begins in an ambulance after an attack on the author, then 46. Paramedics ask who to call and she struggles to retrieve a phone number from her battered head. Then, having done so, she relives a joyful moment from a childhood all but devoid of them: Her father pushing her on a swing. “I hear myself laugh as the wind rushes past my face in its warm and perfect caress. My dad, behind me, pushes higher and higher. It is a beautiful day.”

Her ability to summon that
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
The olive picker, is one of the very few memoirs that I caught hold of and finished reading in 4 days. A very catchy title, the book cover that talks about the silence that Kathryn has gone through in her turbulent life. It’s the story that author manages to take her reader for a journey of her life, spanning through 60 years. As one flips through chapters, one is intrigued with the details of events, the visuals on surroundings and describing some of unbelievable behavioral aspects of normal hu ...more
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a gripping and gut wrenching tale that had me completely engaged and on the edge of my seat from the moment I started reading. This book takes you on quite a roller coaster ride as you follow Kathi and her very tumultuous life circumstances. I can't believe some of the things she had to deal with and live through. I am so surprised that she made it through alive and with her sanity. This book is so well done that it deserves classic novel status. I could easily see it at the top of the New ...more
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Story of Kathi who grew up in an abusive home with her step father monster. Her and her sister were treated bad and their mother didn't put a stop to it. Eager to finish high school, she leaves home to escape. Young late teenagers, parties and dumb decisions. Marring a guy, having a kid and moving out of state. Pregnant again and husband cheats on her multiple times. Finding her way and divorcing her husband. Start again. Along comes another guy. Marriage with no love? A strange relationship tha ...more
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Poignant Story of One Woman's Survival

Kathryn Brettell's memoir is poignant, yet inspiring. A thought provoking story from her childhood through to present. A reminder to all that abuse isn't always physical and emotional abuse is just as painful and scarring. Her honest story, survival, and consequent awakening is sad, frightening, enlightening, and inspirational all in one. This memoir is gripping from page one. I applaud this author's writing style and appreciate her efforts to tell her own l
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've always wondered how people remember so much detail about their lives that they can write a memoir. And then I wish I had kept journals so that I could look back on my life. Not that I'd want to write a memoir - I'm not that interesting -just just to remember those events that seemed insignificant then but most likely had an impact on the me that I am now. Anyway -- I enjoyed this book. It was a quick and interesting read. I'm always amazed by these strong women who go through so much in the ...more
Susan Faw
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am not normally reading this genre, but this book held me spell bound. There is no question that Kathryn writes from the heart. She is a skillful author who manages to communicate a desperate and difficult time in her life in a fluid format that at no time comes across as a pity party. I am sure many tears were shed in the writing of this memoir and I am equally certain that she has been and will continue to be an inspiration to other women who have suffered and continue to suffer abuse. Five ...more
Noreen Ashley
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I'm so happy to meet you, Kathryn. You are remarkable. I could not put down your story. I have been told that I should write a book. Too overwhelming though. I have 3 sons that have been affected by Agent Orange from when my husband was in Vietnam. The area was sprayed twice while he was stationed there.
Thanks again, though, for sharing your story. I'm so glad that you wrote it.
B.K. Crawford
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely riveting from the first page to the last. I couldn't put it down and carried it around from room to room while I read. I finished it in one sitting because I simply had to know what was on the next page. I'm not normally drawn to memoirs, but this one seemed to call to me. What an emotional roller-coaster! The author has complete command of the craft and excellent writing strategy. I was impressed the whole way through. Highly recommended.
Feb 20, 2016 added it
The abuse and horror experienced in this book was unsettling. The book gripped me and made me read on but it is disturbing. I am sure writing the book was cathartic. I'm not sure reading the book was healing. It's well written but disturbing. I'm not sure who the audience should be for this book. Haunting!
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Usually I only read funny or descriptive memoirs, not ones that detail an unhappy life. However this was well written,gripping, and in the end a heroines tale. How the author found the courage to keep going and with grit and determination found her happy ending.
Mary Baker
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is one book you won't be able to put down

This memoir tells the horrid details of abuse and will have you experience many emotions including disbelief, fear, sympathy, shock, and more. True stories are often more terrifying than fiction and such is the case with this memoir.
Amy Sherman
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Disturbing but also inspiring

This book is a great testament to the strength and strong will of women who survive the wrath of domestic violence. Kudos to the author for retelling the horrific personal story of her experience and how she overcame. Highly recommend.
Darrell Craig
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very moving.

The author has a wonderful way of drawing you into her life. I truly felt sorry for her because of the way she was treated by those who should have loved her the most. She finally stood up for herself.
Kim Ingham
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing

What a memoir! I hate reading stories of spousal abuse but this was told in such a way that I never saw it coming to the end it did. Congratulations Kathie, jobs well done on
Tammy Navarro
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A heartbreaking but uplifting story of survival.

This story kept me interested and involved throughout. The pain the main character endured is told in such a factual way that I can't help but be in awe of her strength. She is a true hero.
Keith Garvert
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Kathy's book sits alongside other great stories of human survival. She takes her readers along with her on the many twists and turns in her life that are a true testament to her tenacious spirit.
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazing life story of survival and ultimately getting to a point of living
Amy Smith
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I could not put this book down! Very well written. It grabbed me and I was totally absorbed in this book.
Linda Bethea
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Encouraging story of survival

Excellent story of a brave woman who triumphed over a lifetime of abuse. Not self-pitying or sensational in the least.
Pat Ellis
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I 'dithered' about reading this Memoir - I am so glad I took the plunge - The subject matter isn't all easy reading but so worthwhile - well written and kept me gripped.
Terry A White
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreakingly honest

Brutally honest story of the author and her journey from chronic abuse to self discovery and joy in life. Inspiring and not easily forgotten.
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-books
Great book.

The Olive Picker: Kathryn Brettell

The life story of Kathi who grow up with an abusive step-father and a mother wouldn't protect her and her older sister. The abuse took many forms, physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual. After years she was thrown out, but finished high school. Poor decision making from low self worth had her marrying two men that continued the abuse in different forms. Life and death struggles and a resolution that changed her life.

The narration was well done.The charac
Catherine Lee
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rags to Riches

Not in the physical sense but in the emotional sense this book covers a multitude of life's happenings. The author is a true hero for all the things life has thrown at her and for surviving !
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I completely believed in Kathi's story. I could relate to a lot of the beat shelves in relationships and hope she gives me strength to make my own changes. Look forward to more by Kathryn Brettell.
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great Read

An inspirational reading of her life story and all she had to overcome. Amazing she survived. A good read for everyone!
Cathie M
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Nothing special. I have heard so many stories from friends now that we are adults about many troubled childhoods, myself included.
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