Queen of Your Own Life:
The Grown-up Woman's Guide to
Claiming Happiness and Getting the Life you Deserve

by Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff

Harlequin, 2010. ISBN 978-0-373-89215-0.
Reviewed by Jennifer Melville
Posted on 06/02/2010

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Life Lessons

Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff have a problem with the stereotypes defining middle aged women. They are tired of hearing that middle age was the beginning of a woman's "crone years" and the start of the last phase of her life. How depressing is that? They decided to change all that and declare themselves the queens of their lives.

There are seven steps to becoming the queen of your own life:

  1. Claim your beauty and feel your power.
  2. Clean your mental closet and find your Queen voice.
  3. Admire yourself for who you've become.
  4. Build deep, fulfilling friendships with other women.
  5. Establish firm boundaries that will strengthen all of your relationships.
  6. Discover the simple trick to finally being happy.
  7. Proclaim yourself the Queen of Your Own Life.

Each step has an entire chapter of advice, interesting stories, and motivational ideas to help you achieve happiness and purpose in middle age. Down with the idea of the worn-out woman, the old lady resigned to a life of rocking chairs and knitting. This viewpoint is outdated and demeaning. There's never a better time to proclaim yourself the queen of your own life and the mistress of your own happiness than now. "Join us in our simple guide to laughing, crying, healing, and easily making the transition into what will be the best half of your life," Kinney and Ratzlaff write, "Remember, you don't have to be twenty to have your whole life ahead of you."

I found the persistent royalty concept a bit tacky by the time I got to Step Four and the authors suggested filling one's royal court with good, positive female friends. The idea is great, but the word choice and imagery didn't move me. It didn't feel original. This is in no way a bad book; it just didn't speak to me at this point in my life. If you're middle-aged and need some motivation, this book may be for you. Just don't expect something much different from the other motivational books for women on the market.

Kathy Kinney is best known for her role as Mimi Bobeck on The Drew Carey Show. She can also be seen in the title role of Mrs. P, a web site for children aimed at keeping alive the joy of books and reading.

Cindy Ratzlaff is a veteran publishing executive who has created marketing campaigns for more than 100 New York Times bestselling books. She is the president of Brand New Brand You and is a cofounder of the online publishing company Supreme Social Media.

(See another review of this book, here)

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