Review: Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche

Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRocheLove can make a person do crazy things. .

Torre DeRoche is a city girl with a morbid fear of deep water. She is not someone you would ordinarily find adrift in the middle of the stormy Pacific Ocean aboard a leaky sailboat – total crew of two – struggling to keep an old boat, a new relationship and her floundering sanity afloat.

But when she meets Ivan, a handsome Argentinean with a humble sailboat and a dream to set off exploring the world, Torre has a hard decision to face: watch the man she loves sail away forever, or head off on the epic watery journey with him. Suddenly the choice seems simple. She gives up her sophisticated city life, faces her fear of water (and tendency towards seasickness) and joins Ivan on a year-long voyage across the Pacific.

Set against the backdrop of the world’s most beautiful and remote destinations, Love with a Chance of Drowning is a sometimes hilarious, often moving and always breathtakingly brave memoir that proves there are some risks in life worth taking. An engaging story teller, Torre is also author of The Fearful Adventurer, a blogsite where she posts honest accounts of her deep fears and daring adventures hoping to inspire others to follow their dreams. Film rights for Love with a Chance of Drowning have been optioned and the script adaptation is currently underway.

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Review

I’m not a person who knows anything about boats except for the basics I learnt during my childhood when my family used to spend a lot of time on a houseboat. My dad loved boats and fishing and going new places, but I was always the chicken of the family and my memories of my earliest sea voyages are tangled up with fear and flashes of the flooding, shipwrecking, capsizing, drowning, sea-born-toothy-monster-filled nightmares I used to have.

I’m sure that doesn’t sound like something to inspire one to read a story based at sea, but it was actually what made me give Love with a Chance of Drowning a try. Normally I’d be a little wary of something lovey-dovey combined with ocean-faring, but a memoir with a woman who has high anxiety, a worrying nature, and a fear of water, intrigued me. I don’t have a fear of water, it’s more a fear of being stranded in the middle of the ocean where I can’t escape from, and I have high anxiety as well as a worrying nature. I wanted to find out how Torre DeRoche ended up agreeing to something out of her comfort zone and to find out if she conquered her fears.

I’m really glad I read Love with a Chance of Drowning. Torre has a very easy-going way of sharing her story and infuses her experiences with a touch of humour, warmth, and curiosity even amidst the times of high anxiety. It felt akin to having a conversation, albeit one-sided, with someone who was relaying his or her experiences.

Needless to say, I felt it very easy to relate in a lot of ways, not just with the anxiety and worry, but also with the dynamic between Ivan and Torre when it comes to her worrying and him remaining positive. These interactions made me laugh and smile because that sounds like my partner and myself! I found myself smiling quite often and attempting to keep my reactions, including chuckles, subdued as I read the majority of this book in public. I’m pretty sure I got a few odd stares, but when you’re enjoying a book enough to have physical reactions, who cares? Am I right?

I do have to mention that the places they visited sound beautiful and awoke the explorer in me, the sense of adventure was easy to be swept away with, but at the same time I’m still not interested in going out to sea on a boat after reading Love with a Chance of Drowning. The memoir is a light-hearted, enjoyable read that left me feeling quite happy after the last page, but I’m satisfied with land-based experiences. I’ll leave the seafaring to the adventurous ones and hope their stories are as lovely to read as this one.

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