Today’s book review is of the book My Wild and Precious Life. It is Susanne Rheault’s memoir and I found it so interesting. Her writing is so good and her life is so interesting and full that I was captivated from start to finish.
Rheault’s memoir starts with her childhood, moving to different countries with her family and Green Beret father. She writes about her parents and upbringing, her roots in New England, and her thrill seeking military father.
Rheault gets olde, earns her Ph.D, starts a family and her life, which is already interesting by the way, takes a turn when she is widowed at 44. But, Rheault doesn’t stop there and settle into single parenthood and work. After her son got a bit older she begins working for the Clinton Foundation and traveling around Africa to to help start up and run AIDS prevention programs. Through her work in Africa, she develops a love for the people and forms a desire to do even more to help the people, especially in the rural areas. She travels to Africa multiple times a year and only staying for about 2 weeks each time and it began to wear her down. The constant coming and going, to a place so far away, leaves her drained and feeling like she’s not doing enough since she can’t form lasting relationships with the people.
With her husband (second husband) on board, they become founding members of the Precious Project in Tanzania. What started as an orphanage becomes a school and home for students who are either orphaned or if their parents are unable to care for them. Rheault writes about all the ups and downs over the years and details how they grew from a small building with a few children to a school with over 200 children and a full staff. It is incredible and so inspiring!
I could never pick up and live on another continent (I don’t think!), especially in a rural area. I’m not built for that haha, but I admire Rheault and her husband so much. And how awesome is it that her husband did/is doing this with her. I can imagine someone saying “Hey, let’s run a school in Africa and live there for a few months a year.” and the husband going “Um, are you crazy?” But, he was on board which is so cool and shows that they’re really meant to be together.
I love that Rheault started this whole adventure in her 50s and now in her 60s is still thriving with her endeavor. It proves that it doesn’t matter how old you are – if you have a dream you should go after it!
*This book was sent to me complimentary, but all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.*