Sylvia May’s book The Unraveling of Abby Settel. *Photo supplied
Sylvia May’s book The Unraveling of Abby Settel. *Photo supplied

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4: Leaving the place you call home can be a heartbreaking experience for anyone.

Fear of the unknown, loss of identity and loneliness can all come into play when moving to an unknown setting where everything is different and nobody knows your name.

Netherlands-born author Sylvia May, through her first book The Unraveling of Abby Settel, shares her own experiences of leaving Canada — the first place she ever felt settled in her life.

Published by Turquoise Morning Press and released in August of  this year, it is a story of “mid-life reinvention, letting go and embracing the  present, and the importance of friends”.

May now lives in Bermuda and will be doing a book reading on November 30 at the Bermuda National Library on Queen Street at 12:30pm.

On December 3 she will do a book signing at Brown & Co. Bookmart.

The book is on sale at Bermuda Bookstore and Brown & Company and can be ordered through Amazon.

We caught up with Sylvia May to discuss the new book.

How does the book reflect your own life?

I wrote the book while I was processing my move to the States. I was totally unprepared for the emotional impact the move had because I’d been excited about it. It hit me hard and then I met other people who were going through the same emotions. People don’t know that this is what it’s like unless they’ve been through it. This is why I wanted to tell that story because I thought people should know.

Do you think the book might strike a chord with Bermuda’s expats?

Definitely — I’ve had feedback from a lot of expats. Several people have thanked me for it and said that’s exactly what they went through when coming to Bermuda. It’s a good place to have been when the book was released.

Was writing this book therapeutic for you?

I would say yes — that was the way I processed what I was going through. I hope it will help those reading it too — if I am going through things and find a fiction that reflects that story or explores that kind of situation, I can relate to it. I think about how that character handles it, it may not be the way other people handle it but it gives readers an insight into how they might react.

What are some of the overriding themes running in the book?

I think one of them is defining home — ‘what does home mean?’ Another theme that runs through the book is family and how important family can be in developing a home. Also friends — Abby works her way through the issues with the support of other friends who she also supports — they depend on each other for support and that helps them to get through it together.

For more information on the author, visit