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Memoir review: Facing Fear Head On: True stories from women on the water

November 3, 2018



This book is the result of a competition in which all 46 authors of the stories involved took part. I was lucky enough to be one of the judges, but I only got to read the final selection, so I was curious to read the rest of the stories and decided to buy the book for myself.

All the entrants whose stories were selected had to describe a situation in which they faced their fear; all of them are women and all of them are sailors or boat dwellers: in other words, women on the water. This book is now the edited and polished version of all these stories and it is quite fascinating.

I am in awe of these women and how they face the challenges of life on dangerous oceans, dealing with raging storms and seas I can’t even bear to think of. I particularly loved Paralysed in the Pacific, Curiosity Killed the Fear and 10800 seconds. However, there are others too that I thoroughly enjoyed: How to Sink a Narrowboat and Overboard on Barge Life meant much to me being a barge person myself. I recognised the terror of being hung up in a lock, and all the fears that go with owning your own centenarian Dutch barge only too well.

That said, every single story had me riveted as there is an incredible compulsion in reading about other people’s terrifying experiences, isn’t there? The comforting part is that all these remarkable women survived to tell the tale and almost all of them have carried on sailing. Wonderful stuff! Highly recommended reading for all who love life on the water and for sailors in particular and hats off to the publishers, SisterShip Press, for their first publication. This is a great book!

The link to the Kindle version is here

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