Early Praise

“The memoir recounts Stevens’ childhood memories, but it’s truly about Berthella, with each chapter painting another stroke in a portrait of an exceptional woman. Stevens…has a gift for describing ordinary things in beautiful, artistic ways… Each chapter draws the reader in.”
– Kirkus Reviews (Selected to appear in the November 1, 2018 magazine edition.)

“The words maverick and mother are not usually synonymous, but in FOREVER HERSELF, Kerry L Stevens’ “love letter” to his mother,…Stevens beautifully fuses memories of his childhood with Berthella’s strength, poetry and essays. The combination inspires the discovery of our individual uniqueness and the courage to be our own person.”
– Sylvia Dickey Smith, award-winning author of the
Sidra Smart Mystery Series, A War of Her Own, and Original Cyn.

Forever Herself is a son’s stirring tribute to his Indiana mother.”
– Philip Gulley, author of the Harmony series

“It’s a remarkable story and it not only shows the life of Berthella Stevens, but it shows the love of a son. The words paint a magnificent picture of the ups and downs, and pursuit of life. It’s a fabulous memoir that is heartfelt and dramatic.”
– Author Amy Shannon of Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews


Praise from Other Early Readers

“Forever Herself is a captivating “can’t put it down” book about the tender relationship between a mother and son. It took me back to a simpler, gentler time, and stirred memories of my own childhood and growing up years. At times it had me chuckling, at other times wiping away tears. Poignant, funny, warm, and enthralling, this book will make a wonderful gift for any occasion.”
– Kellye Noret

“Enchanting book! The author drew me into his mother’s story from the beginning, and I grew quite fond of this extraordinary woman as she developed from a poor, city girl into an unconventional farm wife and mother, grandmother and author. I laughed and cried my way through the pages of her life and marveled at her adventurous everyday life. This is the type of book that I hated to put down as I was reading it and was sorry to come to the end of. I was left hungering to read more.”
– Kathy Kolbe

“Every mother should read this book! I thoroughly enjoyed this touching memoir of the author’s mother who was fearless in being herself in every season of her life. Her life, like many of the women of her time, was not an easy one…. But what tugged at my heart most as a mother, was seeing how powerful even the smallest moments of intentional connection with your child can be. May we all be as loving and bold and fearless as Berthella Stevens.”
– Fiona McInally

“I found myself not wanting to put this book down it was very interesting and engaging. It made me happy and sad but it also shows the complex relationships we can have with our mothers. How do we live through our mothers’ eyes and our own? Stevens brings us to this question so clearly and gives insight and knowledge to this complex relationship.
A wonderful story of courage, strength, & love! A must read!”
– Jayne Stouse

“I finished reading this wonderful book…some portions left me without words… What a pleasure!!!”
– Christine Hershberger

“This is a funny, soulful, unsparing and joy-filled love story of a son for his remarkable mother that may inspire readers to try harder to live a well-examined, intentional life. And to perhaps leave a rich record behind for loved ones to revel in when they are gone!”
– Gayle Rolland

“I truly enjoyed the story… The ending brought me to tears.”
– Vickie Kovach

“I COULD NOT STOP READING!… my heart is reminded of so many similar things with my parents as they aged.”
– Sheila Reed

“Forever Herself is an inspirational and stunning example of a woman, Berthella Stevens, living life with a fierce determination to do so with her own code. Author, and Son, Kerry Stevens coaxes the reader to join him on an intimate journey thru mysterious adventures, sweet poetry, traumatic losses, religious comfort, and hope beyond all measure of sadness. This book, or tribute really, is a magnificent example of Love.”
– Pamela Reed

“Loved the book – every word of it!”
– Jane Herbst

“The beginning of this sweet memoir reminded me of my own family memories. By the time that the story got more complicated and a little darker, I was so fond of this family that I found myself pulling for everything to turn out OK. In the end, I felt like Berthella was someone I want to learn from. I want to live with as much authenticity as she did…. I will recommend this book to my book club.”
– Ann Barlow

“It turns out, you can judge a book by its cover! The whimsical portrait that graces the front of the book – a full-grown woman on stilts in a wildflower garden – foretells the delightful, but sometimes melancholy memoir of the author’s mother, Berthella Stevens. The story begins with a small boy’s unfailing adoration, and whimsical childhood anecdotes. As time progresses he is able to see his mother as the fiercely independent, before-her-time woman who is flawed, like all of us. The eyes-wide-open recollections during the author’s adulthood and the changing relationship with his beloved mother as she ages are poignant, and resonate as we are invited to remember our own mothers, and consider our relationships with our children.”
– Linda Carey

“’But the adventure wrapped us in a warm, enveloping blanket of magic where the world could not follow and where the memory of that midnight shall never dim…‘ written by Berthella Stevens from ‘The Night the Mouse Sang.'”

“Berthella and her youngest son were bound not only through blood and DNA; but, through a magical journey that began with love, innocence, faith and curiosity that navigated their very souls through tunnels of anguish, oceans of knowledge and mountains of hope. “Forever Herself” is a home-grown type of captivating story that can not be put down until finished. The honesty of the author in unraveling his feelings and emotions on how he views his mother, his father, his family, the world and himself are very touching and strikingly real. “Forever Herself” is truly a dream that became a reality. It is a “must” read for anyone that believes that dreams can come true.”
– Linda Lawrence

“I love the book… Forever Herself is an awe-inspiring memoir… The author spins a family tapestry of loneliness, heartache, laughter, and love, leaving the reader regardful of his own family dynamics. I recommend this book for families and book clubs, as there is potential for endless discussion. You will not be disappointed.”
– Debra Miller

“I have had a busy weekend, but found myself reading in every spare moment… It is a well-written tribute… I truly enjoyed your book… I loved chapter 29!… I giggled…had tears… What a touching moment!”
– Cynthia McKenzie

“I have thoroughly enjoyed it…the insight and excellent food for thought.”
– Kent Walterhouse

“I’ve had a hard time getting anything done because I don’t want to put the book down.”
– Carolyn Bawcom

“Her poetry and writings were so genuine and blunt. This book brought back memories of the quirky times with my mom as I grew up with her. Many of the memories touched my heart. I laughed out loud and drew tears at the ebbs and flows of growing up.”
– Nancy Crowther

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