East City Girl
A memoir of growing up Catholic in a small town
Kimberley Payne wanted to be a good girl. She studied her catechism dutifully and aspired to walk the prescribed path toward salvation.
But when she’s caught stealing and gets into trouble, the young Catholic found herself spiralling away from the faith. With her life descending into chaos, would she find her way back to her Christian values?
This memoir sheds light on what life was like growing up Catholic in the 70s. It draws you into early school years through stories, poems, and report card entries that will awaken your own memories and childhood challenges.
If you like open, humourous, and nostalgic stories then you’ll love this memoir of young life experiences that take you down memory lane. Buy East City Girl to learn how your childhood experiences affect your adulthood today!
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Behind the Scenes
Click here to read about the process I went through to create this memoir
Customer Reviews of East City Girl
East City Girl
I wanted to thank Kimberly for such an open and honest account of her childhood. She took me on a trip down memory lane. We had a similar upbringing. Although I can’t proclaim to being the best catholic, her writings have inspired me to renew my faith with God. I see how much strength and a sense of community it has given my parents over the years.
A great overview of this author’s growing-up years and the beginnings of her faith
by Kindle Customer
by Tia Harmon
Fun walk through memory lane!
by Roger Keyzers
I loved the walk through memory lane – Kim Payne’s writing jogged my own memories of East City – what a delight to recall things that were long ago filed away in my brain – so fun! Her personal stories were very entertaining, and the photos were a treat. I was moved by more than a few of her retellings, and I especially loved her epilogue. Bravo Kim!
Would definitely recommend this book
So many relatable memories came back that I have forgotten from my own childhood. I smiled so many times while reading this book because so many memories flooded back regarding what was so important at the same age regarding fads and regarding similar choices I made at the time. I loved reading how the author genuinely reflected on the guidance and impact of her teachers and parents had on her, growing up.
by Donna Mann
My ‘East City Girl,’ A memoir of growing up Catholic in a small town, arrived from Amazon today. I loved it! Thanks, Kimberley, for reflecting on your childhood in such an open and reflective manner.
Fun Trip Down Memory Lane
by Kelli How
What a great read! It was fun, nostalgic but still made me reflect and look at my own early years and the challenges I faced (I am sure most of us do). It is a quick read, packed with a lot of tid-bits of life in the 80’s.
Like the author, I also grew up in Peterborough, so many of the settings were familiar to me. I loved that part of the book, a real trip down memory lane. But what really stuck with me was the author’s honest depictions of her experiences, and how she learned from these moments in her life. Stories about a child taking something not belonging to them, and consequently the shame involved and how that moment shaped her into the person that she is today.
It is interesting to read these deeply personal moments, and how the author made me see the connections to my own life experiences.
I have leant my copy to friends and family, and all have reported back to me! A real treasure 🙂
by Jane Mouttet
East City Girl is Kimberley Payne’s recollections of growing up in small town Canada. The author divides the story into chapters based on her age. For those who have little or no experience with Catholicism, the story sheds light on what life was like growing up Catholic during the time period.
Adult readers who grew up in the same time period will appreciate the summary at the close of each chapter which details: clothes, movies, TV shows, toys, and music that was popular that year as well as the international highlights.
East City Girl would be appropriate for a K-12 Christian school library. The majority of the chapters are focused on Kimberley’s growing experiences in Catholic school, but Payne uses these experiences to show the path she took to salvation. East City Girl would be a great example to offer students who have been assigned the task of writing their autobiography.
by Marta Aldrighetti
“I dedicate this memoir to my brave parents who raised me and my three older brothers in the faith.”
This book is a journey through the author’s religion, values, heritage, and life.
Some events (Christmas Eve Mass at midnight, watching The Love Boat on Saturday night, Sacrament of First Communion… and more) are the same things I experienced. Such good memories!
I enjoyed reading this book.
Charming, wise, funny, poignant, and true
by Tiffany Wood
I really love the way Kimberley reflects on her life growing up in a small Ontario town, with faith and family.
Having also grown up in a similar way – Catholic in an Ontario town, this book touched so many memories for me, and certainly described the mind set of growing up Catholic during the 70’s and 80’s. Her memoir awakened my memories — which were mostly forgotten.
Those who grew up with Kimberley in that town, her family and friends will always remember it with a fond glow, and cherished nostalgia thanks to her memories.
by Lynne Collier
“East City Girl” is a friendly stroll through the memories of a young Catholic girl growing up in a small Canadian town. Payne uses photos, poetry and prose to invite us to walk alongside her as she draws attention to the places and events which shaped her life as a child of faith. And later explains her reconnection with God as an adult. A delightfully and humorous nostalgic read interspersed with trivia from the 1970s and 80s. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading memoirs or needs an easy-to-read book of short stories, personal reflection and a good laugh.
by Melissa Henderson
A delightful read. The author shares photographs and lifetime memories that, at times, made me smile as I reflected on my own life. I enjoyed this one very much.
Engaging and readable
by Ed Hird
In reading Kimberley Payne’s new book East City Girl, I was quickly drawn into her story. The book has a disarming simplicity, seen through her childhood memories. It is also a vivid account of rebellion and family tragedy. Kimberley’s description of how faith functions in her life is compelling. I would commend this book to others, particularly those who enjoy autobiographies.
Childhood influences adulthood
by Mary Hosmar
Have you ever wondered how your childhood experiences affect your adulthood? Kimberley Payne, in her new memoir, East City Girl, reflects on her childhood experiences. She draws us into her early school years through stories, poems and even report card entries. We learn how her parents’ teachings and influences shaped her childhood and later years. Religion played a major part in Payne’s childhood and she confesses that, during her teenage years, she turned away from God and her beliefs but how, through the influence of other caring Christians, she was drawn back into God’s fold.
The stories are told in factual language which provides the reader with a level of trust in what is being said. No gushing, no praising of self, just facts and how they helped shape a life.
For those who enjoy memoirs, and especially if you grew up Catholic in a small town, this is an interesting read. There are lots of illustrations and pictures in the book to add interest.
by Elzbieta Da Silva
This was a great read. Kim took me back into the past with her stories of growing up in Peterborough Ontario. It made me laugh and nostalgic. It brought up some great memories growing up during this period outlined in her book. Read it you will enjoy it! It will put a smile on your face.
by Tammy Strauss
This is an amazing book about God, faith and family. I grew up in a small town and I know your faith never leaves you and stays with you. She is remarkable in giving her children what she had and better. We may leave God but he never leaves us. I rate it the best and well written. Great work.
An Inside Look at a Small Town Girl
by David Fisher
Kimberley Payne has given the reader an inside look into her upbringing and experiences…growing up in East City in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. The book had a special appeal to me as I grew up in the same quiet, tree-lined area of this part of Peterborough, east of the Otonabee River. The author shares, in detail, every aspect of her childhood and teen years…the schools she attended, the clothes she wore, the music that was on the Hit Parade, the popular movies at the time, etc. She relates what it was like to grow up “Catholic” in a small town and how the influence of her parents and the church positively impacted her life. I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir of a woman who discovered in her adult years that the most important relationship that anyone can have is to know Jesus Christ personally and to experience the joy and peace that only He can give. I highly recommend this easy-to-read book that can be enjoyed in one evening.
I very much appreciated this memoir. It is well organized which allows the reader to experience the moments described easily. The inclusion of pictures and other remnants from the author’s childhood add insights to the written words that follow. As a woman who also grew up in the Catholic Church, memories were rekindled from this delightful work. Overall a fantastic read that earned my five-star rating!