I love reading. My Grandmother loved reading. My Mother loves reading. So as we head into this Mother's Day weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to review a lovely book I recently finished.

I particularly love reading biographies that tell a woman's story. So The Finding 40 Project was a perfect fit for me. The book asks what it means to be Forty for woman across the globe. It is a collection of interviews and images, by author Aimee Cebulski, of women turning 40 living in 10 different countries around the world.

Each story is a little peak into the life of a woman at 40. What were her accomplishments and regrets? What has surprised her about 40?  What are her hopes for the future?  The stories include not only women from around the world, but women with families, without families, those who have pursued careers and those who left them behind. It is a rich tapestry of women all facing 40.

Some of my favourites were:

  • Dionne in San Diego. At 40 she is homeless but healthier and happier than she has been much of her life. "I'm at the most content point in my life."
  • Julie, who moved from California to Brussels as part of her high powered career as a lawyer and is now leaving that life behind to pursue her dream as a photographer.
  • Mala in India, who is living with HIV while raising her family on her own. Everything in her life is focused on providing for her family and her worries for their future.
  • Meghan who left her Wall Street-working, vegetarian lifestyle behind and now hunts and dresses her own meat in a Wyoming town of 100 souls with her husband and two boys
  • Rosa Elena, in Ecuador, who has never been further than the village 10 miles away from her home where she lives with her seven children and one grandchild - and who had to check her id to see that she was indeed 40.

Aimee also examines what women would do if they had more money... a $100, $1,000 or $10,000. Some of the answers really surprised me. Women who had very little, like Dionne, who is homeless would use $100 to buy herself a bike, and would "give it away" if she had $1,000.


The Author - Aimee Cebulski

This is the type of book that is easy to sit down with for a short while each day, to read another woman's story. Although to be honest, once you start it is hard to read just one. It was a lovely break from my day-to-day where I could see life from a different perspective. And it let me appreciate my own choices at the same time.

This book would make a lovely gift for friend, wife, partner, sister, etc who is might be facing her own 4-0 milestone. Or a woman of any age who enjoys being inspired by the stories of other women. Print versions of the book are available via Amazon.