29 August 2013

Review: Love With a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche

Love With a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche

Published: 27 February 2013 by Penguin Australia

Pages: 352 (paperback)

Genre/s: Memoir, Travel, Romance

Source: Own library


Love can make a person do crazy things. . .

A city girl with a morbid fear of deep water, Torre DeRoche is not someone you would ordinarily find adrift in the middle of the stormy Pacific 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 man with a humble sailboat and a dream to set off exploring the world, Torre has to face a hard decision: watch the man she's in love with sail away forever, or head off on the 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 her lover on a year-long voyage across the Pacific. 

Set against a 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 worth taking.

My Thoughts

Love With a Chance of Drowning grabbed my attention for two reasons: Firstly, doing a crazy thing for love isn't exactly unfamiliar to me (hello moving to the other side of the world for someone I'd never met in person), and secondly, sailing around the world sounds like one of the worst possible kinds of torture I could ever imagine.

And for both of those reasons I immediately felt a kind of affinity with Torre DeRoche.  With a morbid fear of deep water and an extreme worrier, I could completely relate to everything she went through - if not the same situations but instead the same kinds of feelings that doing something so far outside your comfort zone can evoke.

Her boyfriend, Ivan, is hell-bent on sailing acrross the Pacific, but Torre kind of falls into the whole thing, almost blinded by love, but still stressing to the max, and that makes her story feel so much more realistic.  There's no moment where she wakes up and realises she has overcome all of her fears, and although it could have become a little bit grating as she continues to stress out while Ivan's attitude is very laid-back, it actually makes both of them far more likeable.

The writing style is very easy to read - the story flows from one event to the next, and even the sailing, equipment and navigation terminology is written in a way that even though it's not something I'm particularly interested in, it was understandable and wasn't info-dumped.  

Torre and Ivan have some quite funny, and some quite serious parts of their story, and it's incredible readable - from jellyfish attacks to accidentally shooting a native islander with a spear gun, it's all done with a sense of respect towards the people and the places they encounter on their travels.  

Could I have done what Torre did?  Um, hell no. And for that she has all of my admiration, as she pushed herself through situations that would have had me demanding a rescue fleet.  She came out of her adventure a little braver, but also embracing her own limitations and realising that although love can pull you outside your comfort zone, it shouldn't change who you fundamentally are.


  1. Sounds like a book nothing like what I usually read, but also like a very worth read! Will probably check it out!

  2. Wow you moved around the world for someone you hadn't met yet? That takes guts, chickie! I love it! :D You still with him now? Anyways this book sounds really good and different from anything I've read before. I love how Torre sounds like a great admirable MC!

    1. And a fair dose of crazy lol. Yep, still annoying him every single day ;)

      I'm not usually a fan of travel memoirs, but I really liked Torre - brave but didn't shy away from freaking out!



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