Feisty, Fabulous and 50 Plus: 21 women share their candid and compelling stories - Signed!

Feisty, Fabulous and 50 Plus: 21 women share their candid and compelling stories - Signed!

Julie Ankers
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Signed by author

Feisty, Fabulous & 50+ is a collection of 21 'warts and all' stories written by women navigating their way through their 50s and beyond.

The stories are inspirational, frank and uplifting as each woman tackles her own set of challenges - from financial insecurity and discrimination to life-threatening illnesses - all recounted with humour, insight and self-deprecation. A true testament to understated strength and resilience.

The idea for the book came to Julie Ankers after she decided to semi-retire to the Blue Mountains 23 years after managing her own business in Sydney. Planning to work both as a volunteer and locally one or two days a week, the frustration she experienced finding part-time work and stepping back from her longstanding business resulted in her thinking that many others could be experiencing the same.

Indeed, how were other women at this stage of their lives managing? So she decided to invite 21 randomly selected women over 50 from her contacts around Australia to share their stories. Each contributor was asked to be open and honest about her 'third age' experiences. It is interesting that many of the women talked about coming 'full circle', choosing to start their story from the beginning of their lives, feeling that they were the sum total of their lives' experiences.

Like Julie, some of the women also had their own businesses and spoke about this aspect of their lives in some detail. It was also interesting that many of the book's contributors had experienced cancer and other serious illnesses and their stories spoke movingly about their thoughts and reactions after diagnosis and treatment.

Julie's objective in compiling Feisty, Fabulous & 50+ was to encourage readers to reflect on their own lives. Some readers may feel a sense of contentment that their lives have gone to plan and they have been successful in overcoming obstacles along the way. Some might be inspired to make some changes to their lives. Others may wish to share this book with others and encourage discussion about what they would have done differently. What is clear is that all readers will find something of value in the amazing stories these women have shared.

While Feisty, Fabulous & 50+ focuses on the experiences of women over 50, it can also be seen as a passing of the baton to younger women. Julie found that many of the women she approached asked, 'Who, me?' or 'Why me?' Many asked why more 'famous' women weren't included in the book as their stories may have been more commercially viable. Julie's answer was that she was interested in women who weren't necessarily famous but were quiet achievers and champions of their own lives!

The candid and compelling stories in Feisty, Fabulous & 50+ provide an opportunity for women of all ages to reflect on their own lives, while honouring and congratulating women everywhere who may think their lives ordinary, unaware of the ripples they are sending around the world.