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by Mary Ellen Goulet

290 pages
The story of a woman who stands up to the status quo, making drastic changes during her lifetime. During her journey, influenced by her unusual upbringing and the womenís movement of the 60ís and 70ís, she affects the lives of many who touch a part of her life.

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Category: Autobiography
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About the Book

This is a story of a woman coming to grips with her past life. She made a fateful decision when she was 23 that would change the course of her life. This singular decision was followed by many more challenging events that continued to drastically alter her journey. She reveals her unusual upbringing in the conservative 30ís and 40ís, her efforts to accommodate herself through the transformative upheavals of the 60ís and 70ís, and the path she made for herself on the way to The Purple Pantsuit.

This book was a painful undertaking for the author. Painful because she not only revealed deeply held secrets, but ultimately, she had to judge herself. From this struggle a new woman emerged, one at peace with all of her past choices.

At the onset of this endeavor she was writing for her friends and family only. They had long requested to understand the whys of her decisions throughout her life. Everything changed during the Me Too movement, culminating in the Kavanaugh hearings. She knew that it was time to share her story with the world. Secrets hidden from even herself began to emerge. Shame and secrets hold hands. She was going to rid herself of both.

There has been confusion about what genre this is. It became a lengthy memoir, maybe three or four. Even the author isnít sure what this is and maybe that doesnít matter. All she can say is that it is a lifetime of memories of how she was raised and who she became, again and again, as a daughter, sister, friend, wife, teacher, counselor, mother, and activist.

Follow her on her journey, from her year in kindergarten, when she first realized she was different from the other girls, through making and breaking vows, changing intrinsic personal beliefs, challenging outdated rules for teachers and counselors, adopting an older child as a single parent to moving to a life off of the grid in retirement in a rural area of the Black Hills of South Dakota. Search deeply. Take on the message of the purple pantsuit, believe in yourself and follow your heart.


I encourage you to experience Maryís journey in A Purple Pantsuit. At times you will smile, at times, cry, and often moved; and at the end you will want to read it again.
- Rich Gross, Ph.D., Former president of Western Dakota Tech
Mary has lived the golden rule and changed the lives of those around her. Her writing will inspire the reader to put on a purple pantsuit and do everything possible to help others.
- Dorothy Karlson, retired Reading Resource teacher, Hopkins, MN
A Purple Pantsuit is one womanís story that is every womenís life. This story of one womanís life will speak to your heart and leave you with hope. I own a purple pantsuit and after this story you will too.
- Dawn Johnson, Head Librarian, Hot Springs, SD
Regardless of your politics, gender, religion, or anything else that seems to divide humanity these days, you will find Maryís story quite compelling, written with bravery and passion. In recording many of her life experiences in A Purple Pantsuit, author Mary Goulet has written a brutally honest, captivating book.
- Simon Jamieson, School Counselor, Hot Springs, SD



About the Author
Mary Ellen Goulet Mary Goulet was born, educated and worked for 40 years in Minnesota, first as a teacher, then as a school counselor. She began writing for local publications at the age of 65, after she retired to the Black Hills of South Dakota. She published her first book about living off-the-grid, A (Not So) Simple Life, at the age of 73. Her second book, Cascade of Flames, tells the stories of firefighters, and those who fled the flames of the devastating wild fire of 2007. Her third book, Reveille in Hot Springs, The Battle to Save Our VA, records the stories of veterans who use the Hot Springs VA and want it to remain open to service their physical and emotional needs.

In A Purple Pantsuit: A Lifetime of Breaking the Rules, Mary reflects on her lifetime as a rebel and an activist. She defied outdated rules, making drastic changes on her journey through life. In the process she affected many of those who, like her, wanted to make a difference. Changing oneís beliefs can be difficult, if not impossible for many. Mary writes about her personal struggle to break from traditions, both cultural and religious, in order to live her life to the fullest.



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