Book Review: “Joined” by Barbara Carter

On September 15th, Barbara Carter releases the next book in her memoir series, Joined – a memoir of marriage. Barbara sent me a copy of the book in February to read and review. February? I know. That was a lifetime ago. Who plans seven months ahead? More over, how can she wait seven months to release the book after it’s ready? I couldn’t. That’s why I’m horrible at pre-launch promotions. She must have the patience of some religion legend whose name I can’t recall.


Falling in love is easy.

Creating a life together is another story. . .

JOINED is a real-life read, a true confession, a compelling story of life’s many challenges and its few choices. It is the fifth in Barbara Carter’s memoir series, Barbara by the Bay (Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia).

It stands well on its own, not requiring the reader to have read any of the earlier books, although certainly knowing about her earlier life will enhance the experience of travelling with her into marriage and motherhood.

This is a story of the perseverance a woman needs while trying to make marriage work through a surprising barrage of adversity. Dealing with issues that could end their relationship.

My Review (written the day I finished the book on March 25th)

We all make mistakes in life. Some of us are addicted to making mistakes. Yet we can’t let past mistakes define who we are today. I’ve lived long enough to know the past is the past and if we dwell on it, we limit our future.

This philosophy I’ve developed over the years kept coming to mind while reading Joined – a memoir of marriage. I also kept reminding myself the early 80s was a different era. What we understood as normal and what we tolerated was different than today. I knew people who were living similar life styles as those in this memoir. Today, I don’t.

Joined is the story of young Barbara, who endured many ups and downs in life, some brought on by her own actions and some by others in her life, including the man she marries in this chapter of the memoir saga.

Readers will be met with thoughts like, “I remember doing that,” “I knew someone who did that,” and “I’d never put up with that.” Though I really can’t speak for the person I was in my 20s, so I may have tolerated it.

As Barbara navigates married life with a husband who drinks way too much, she’s faced with complicated pregnancies, health issues, financial woes and the continued conflicting philosophy of her mother. One night, looking to relive a little freedom she had in her pre-marriage, pre-mother days, she makes a huge mistake. Yet, she endures. Isn’t this what warriors do?

Learning through experience is how we get through life. Learning through the experiences of others, gives us a boost we wouldn’t otherwise have to get ahead.

This memoir will appeal to readers who enjoy reading the raw human experience, one in which a turbulent childhood turned into troubled teen years delivers a woman into marriage, motherhood and deciding if her future will be that like many other women with alcoholic husbands in rural Nova Scotia or something different, exciting and one that will satisfy her soul.

Author Barbara Carter

Barbara Carter: artist and author. Born in Nova Scotia, Canada, December 25, 1958. Married, with three grown children and three grandchildren. Healing from past wounds is the focus of her work. She shares her life experiences and lessons learned, to connect and hopefully help others with their healing journeys. This is her fifth memoir.

Connect with Barbara Carter

Where to buy the book

It is available for pre-order at Amazon. Release date is September 15th.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

~ Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

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