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Sailing Down The Moonbeam (2008)

by Mary Gottschalk(Favorite Author)
3.61 of 5 Votes: 2
0979799724 (ISBN13: 9780979799723)
Rising Sun Press
review 1: I received this book from the First Reads program.While I felt the author's emotional upheaval through the sailing trip with her husband, I never connected with her as I felt I should as a reader. It appeared to me she knew from the get-go she never should have taken the trip and almost abandoned it before entering high seas. while she learned much about herself, as a reader I didn't necessarily find much of interest to keep me wanting to continue on to each chapter.
review 2: I thought this book would be a travel memoir, but instead I discovered the book is the memoir of a marriage with the travel providing the setting and the sailing serving as a metaphor for the troubled relationship.Mary and Tom decide to set sail from New York City for five years. Idealist
... moreic, romantic, and downright scared at times, they do what many of us only talk about doing if we won the lottery. When I told my husband the basic premise of the book, he asked, “Are they still married?” I told him he’d have to read the book to find out the answer. Mary states in the beginning that the stats for couples enduring life on long cruises is “not encouraging.”Thankfully, Mary kept a journal of the journey, which eventually she turned into this memoir. Let her example be a lesson to all authors or those interested in writing a memoir of events in the past: Write in a journal just to keep track of all the details that will fade from our minds but not from the page. Her descriptive details of the sea and its living world are precise and graphic, which creates word photos for the reader. Here’s one description of her view as they left Boot Key.“As we made our last trip out through the lush mangrove-lined channel, Tom had the helm, his even more faded orange-and-yellow hat shielding his balding head from the blazing Florida sun. Manatees cavorted among the roots of the trees. Pelicans sat stolidly on the wooden pilings, waiting for the right moment to pluck lunch from the water. Raucous frigate birds were everywhere, flying madly about, hitting the water like torpedoes when they saw fish. Through it all, white ibis stood by like pieces of sculpture, regally taking it all in.” Without her journal notes, these literary and literal images would be impossible to recall after more than a two-decade gap in the experience and the publishing of her memoir.Equally descriptive is Mary’s examination of her marriage with Tom. The relationship rides the continual waves of emotion as two people learn to live and function in a cabin on a 37-foot sailboat. Mary touches on many truisms of marriages, and I felt myself nodding my head often while reading the book. Miscommunication (or no communication), different agendas, and competitive spirits collide during the sea trip. Sometimes it was painful to look so closely into the intimate portrait – only because it reminded me of my first marriage that ended in divorce after twenty-six years. So many hurts, disappointments, and infractions build up over the years until they stifle the partners or explode the relationship into tiny pieces of shrapnel.The emotion I felt during the reading this book is a tribute to Gottschalk’s honesty, descriptive portraits of people and place, and an immaculate writing style.I recommend Sailing Down the Moonbeam, even you don’t sail. I don’t sail, but I sure loved living vicariously for a short while. I asked the author about her record keeping, and she assured me she didn’t use everything in this book. Good news – perhaps she’ll write more on sailing the seas, both literally and figuratively. less
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Another free download. It was a great adventure until everything began to go wrong. . .
Won as part of the Goodreads first reads program. Review to come.
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