Title: Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean
Author: Roz Savage
Genre: Non-fiction/ Memoir
Roz Savage has written 2 books about ocean rowing. I decided to read her account of rowing across the Atlantic since I had just watched a documentary about rowing the Pacific.
I really enjoyed Savage’s account of participating in the Atlantic Rowing Race. I didn’t know this event existed, but my timing was fantastic because I got to follow the end of the 2017 race while reading this book.
It is a journey of self-discovery and reflection. The deepening relationship with her mother was especially touching. I also enjoyed the layout of the book and how she tied the emotions she felt while rowing to different people and events that led her to the middle of the Atlantic.
Rowing across an ocean seems agonizing, and like it or not Savage shares gory details about boils and sores that the documentary I watched glossed over. It’s also very dark in some places which made me wonder why anyone would want to do this to themselves. The challenges she faced toward the end of the race were particularly gut-wrenching. The anticipation of being done mixed with the frustration of yet another obstacle must have made the finish all the sweeter.
The Clouds of Anxiety chapter was my least favorite because it goes into the details of her divorce. Who am I to judge another person’s journey? It is an important part of Savage’s life, so I’m glad that she shared the memories in the book. I also liked that she thanked her ex-husband in the Acknowledgements which made it seem like a happier outcome for all involved.
A short, exciting read that I would recommend to anyone looking to delight in a second-hand adventure.
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