Marilyn Wouters writes her autobiography with great passion, narrating a tale of a life that has faced many challenges. The pages turn from memories of nostalgia to moments of defiance to the episodes filled with tearful sadness and then joyful laughter.
Words Tishani Sripathi
A journey filled with many ups and downs, Marilyn Wouters writes about her unintentionally adventurous life in ‘Picking up the Pieces’. It is, as the title suggests, about a life that has picked itself up from the shattered to find success.
The book, a page turner, starts with the life of a mid town Dutch girl who eventually settled down in the remote fishing village of Kammala, Waikkal, in Sri Lanka at the age of 69 years.
Her retirement in Sri Lanka today, something she would never have imagined in her youth, is one dedicated to the nurture and care of stray cats. Newly born dumped kittens are bottle-fed and looked after until they can find new homes, while disabled cats too have found their way to Marilyn’s Ark. Through her social media activity, she is able to find donations to help her cause “No Cat Left Behind”.Wouters says, “I am very happy in Sri Lanka, but I have a duty now and I have a reason for living, I’m not laying on the beach and relaxing, I don’t have time for that! So this is my life…”.
Speaking about her book, she explains that it started as part of her correspondence to her “spiritual son” Marco, in telling him about her life in the year 1995. And as she relayed her story in writing, she was inspired by her friends to tell all.
In person, a character full of laughter and animation, she has endured much to start from scratch time and time again. Talking about the plight of injured animals, tears overflow with kind heartedness and compassion. She says she discovered her sensitive side during a spiritual journey of self-discovery in Spain. Wouters also explains that her book, “is written about the way I feel”; it is a genuine account with no embellishments.
The autobiography takes the reader on a journey from countries such as Holland, Switzerland, USA and onto United Arab Emirates, Tanzania, Spain and finally to her adventures in the peaceful Island of Sri Lanka. The memoir follows the story of a trainee nurse, then a registrar of a school, an owner of a school in Tanzania and finally a philanthropist dedicating her life to the rescue of stray cats in Sri Lanka. From deep romance to long lasting friendships, ultimate betrayals and the strong bonds that weather life’s storms, Wouters’ story portrays a myriad of emotions.
Emulating her easygoing, bubbly character in her relaxed writing style, she portrays shocking aspects in the simplest manner, leaving the avid reader engrossed in the life of Marilyn Wouters. ‘Picking up the Pieces’ is an inspiration about how a life can be lived well through an enduring spirit. Alvailable from Amazon.com and Royal Vet Clinic at Maharagama, all proceeds from her book goes to helping out the Sri Lankan street cats.