Tag Archives: Pauline Hayton

Disease, exhaustion, and starvation threaten family in wartime Burma

No Long Goodbyes, by Pauline Hayton. PH Publishing. 311 pages. Trade paperback $14.99.

If ever a book gave inspiring testimony to courage, the spirit of adventure, and basic human kindness, Pauline Hayton’s new historical novel is such a book. Her story follows a group of people caught up in the nightmare consequences of Japan’s invasion of Burma, at this time a British colony, in 1942.

This little-known but horrific slice of WWII reveals how armed nationalistic endeavor can conspire with natural forces and hazardous terrain to push those caught in such a maelstrom to – and beyond – their limits.

Pauline Hayton

Ms. Hayton’s story, however, is not rooted in wartime alliances, strategies, or rationales, but in how people, unexpectedly trapped by circumstances beyond control, can find strength, resilience, and an angelic sense of purpose in helping one another. Though it is necessary for them to band together, there is something spiritual going on in their commitment to sacrifice for the common good.

This book, then, is a love story on many levels. It explores broken, repaired, and redesigned families. It shows how people of different backgrounds, races, and cultures can become attached to one another through the strength of their common humanity. It demonstrates that a family does not have to be a bonded by blood. It assures us that second chances can be realized and that the pains of loss and feared loss can be overcome.

The central figure is Kate Cavanagh, a British woman in her late twenties recovering from the death of her late husband who committed suicide after murdering their child – in part because the child was not biologically his.

Deciding to restart her life in Burma, Kate does well socially. She encounters and falls in love with Jack Bellamy, a recent widower with two small children. Jack is the head of a tea plantation. The two marry, but soon find themselves attempting to flee the Japanese forces, the natural forces of endless rain and cold, the scarcity of nourishment and clean water, the extremely dangerous mountain ranges, the threat of hungry wildlife, and the omnipresent risk of deadly disease.

The destination for safety is India, and the newly formed family, along with their Indian nursemaid, could never have imagined what lay ahead. . . .

To read the entire review, as it appears in the February 27, 2020 Naples, Bonita Springs, and Palm Beach editions of Florida Weekly, the March 4 Fort Myers and March 5 Charlotte County editions, click here: No Long Goodbyes

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Grit, gusto and spiritual grace animate a vibrant memoir

Still Pedaling, by Pauline Hayton. PH Publishing. 296 pages. Trade paperback $11.99. Available on amazon.com.

It is not often that one encounters an autobiography written by a non-celebrity that has the likelihood of reaching a wide audience. Pauline Hayton has written such a book, revealing a life lived with immense challenges, plenty of setbacks, risky decisions, and an evolution of goals and values.  As the title suggests, determination has been a major factor in Mrs. Hayton’s journey.  So have curiosity, the desire to help others, and spiritual strength.  StillPedaling

Born and raised in a small town in the northeast of England, Pauline had a rebellious streak that got out of hand, landing her in trouble and with unplanned-for motherhood  at an early age.  She had to scramble, as a marginally employed single mother, to keep her head above water. She had to give her second daughter up for adoption for that child’s well-being. So often, it seemed as if there was no hope for her to realize a bright future.

Dealing with the trauma of being gang-raped, finding herself either too trusting or unable to trust through many episodes of her life, Pauline slowly found a path by discovering a faith and a gift, which she nourished. Though she was never a traditionally religious person, she did become a committed spiritualist healer. She took this opportunity as a personal mission, and her studies led to a vocation that helped many people. In this way, she also helped herself.

Her main occupation, in her early adulthood, was as a probation officer, where her healing gifts and knowledge were put to good use. Pauline’s portraits of her probation assignments are among the memoirs many high points, providing insights on how this system works in England that are in contrast in many ways to probation officer duties in the U. S. Or perhaps the contrast is in how Pauline perceived her roll and fulfilled it.


Pauline Hayton

Though never trained as a writer, Pauline has a gift for it. She honored her father’s WWII service by writing a book about it titled A Corporal’s War. The research for this book led Pauline to look more closely into Myanmar (Burma) where her father served. Two additional books – Myanmar: In My Father’s Footsteps and Naga Queen  — grew out of that fascination. Indeed, Pauline and Peter Hayton’s support for the education of children in remote parts of Myanmar is one of those miracles of how people who are not well-to-do, like the Haytons, can greatly improve the lives of those who would otherwise have no path out of abject poverty.

What else? . . .

To read the entire review, as it appears in the January 27, 2016 issue of Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the January 28 Naples, Bonita Springs, Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte, and Palm Beach Gardens/Jupiter editions, click here: Florida Weekly – Still Pedaling

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Surviving the challenges of caring for aging parents

Pauline Hayton, If You Love Me, Kill Me. CreateSpace. 158 pages. $6.99. Kindle e-book $3.99.

What happens when your life becomes a living hell? What happens when you reach your own retirement age and find yourself trapped in the most difficult, exhausting, and demoralizing job you ever had – caring for aging parents who have begun a long, painful decline that seems to have no vanishing point? How does one handle the battleground of resentment and guilt that turns your life into something very dark?  Hayton_Book_Cover

In Ms. Hayton’s case, things kept going from bad to worse. After she lost her father, whose caretaker she also had been, her mother went into a deep decline. It reached the point that the author could not have more that fifteen minutes between her mother’s frantic, fearful yet commanding calls to her to come back to her room. Ms. Hayton could barely get anything else done before having to respond to her mother’s voice.

Worse yet, that voice yelled out “Barbara, Barbara!” Who was Barbara? Pauline Hayton never figured that out.

The story begins with Ms. Hayton revealing that she had survived deep conflicts with her mother that had been resolved through counseling. The resolution had left the author with a somewhat detached relationship with her mother: “I accepted her and her controlling ways (that caused me to leave home when I was seventeen) without allowing her to have power over me.” She adds, “but I adored my father. He was a very special person.”


So, when it was decided that her parents, both blind, should not face their declining years alone in England (where Ms. Hayton was born and raised), it was also decided that she and her husband would take care of them. During the first three years, the situation was managed well enough, and caretaker Pauline became closer than ever to her father. But then his health plummeted, and his death followed soon after.

Her mother’s decline accelerated after the father’s death.  At one point, Ms. Hayton became plagued with cancer. Eventually, her husband left because the stress of the situation was something he couldn’t handle. . . .

To read this review in its entirety, as it appears in the July 3, 2013 Fort Myers Florida Weekly, the July 4 Bonita Springs edition, the July 18 Naples edition, and the July 25 Palm Beach Gardens / Jupiter edition, click here Florida Weekly – Hayton 1 and here Florida Weekly – Hayton 2

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