All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Love With A Chance Of Drowning – Torre DeRoche

on February 26, 2013

Love With ALove With A Chance Of Drowning
Torre DeRoche
Penguin AU
2013, 333p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

At the age of 24, Torre DeRoche packed her bags, left Australia and headed overseas for a year in America. Before she left, she made a promise to her family: no American men and she’d definitely be back in a year.

Then she met Ivan, an IT worker originally from Argentina with a dream. For the last few years, Ivan had been pouring every extra cent he had into a 32ft boat named Amazing Grace. His plan? To sail around the world and he wanted Torre to come with him.

Torre was petrified of water and everything that lurked within it. She didn’t go swimming at the beach above her knees. And this trip involved almost one month at sea without glimpsing land, possibly treacherous conditions and was most likely to go for years. It was crazy. Unthinkable. But the alternatives were, either Ivan gave up his beloved dream and stayed in a job that didn’t make him happy, or he went without her and they parted. Neither of those options seemed very appealing so Torre decided she might as well just do it. She resigned from her graphic design job and set about learning how to become a sailor, before they left for their voyage.

Torre battled seasickness, mishaps with the boat and countless…accidents but she also saw some of the most amazing scenery in the world. They could spend days, weeks living on tinned vegetables, pasta and rice and then gorge themselves on the most amazing tropical fruits when they reached their next port. They made friends with locals and were treated like family. She spent two years living on the boat and used her adventure as a way to embrace some of her darkest fears.

I don’t read much non-fiction, it has to be either something that really interests me, or something that I pick up because it’s a little different and I think that Love With A Chance Of Drowning ticks both of those boxes. For a start, I love the cover – it immediately draws my eye and makes me want to know more. And I think the story is awesome – woman who is afraid of the ocean agrees to sail halfway around the world in a pretty small boat. Torre DeRoche has been a blogger from way back and she recorded her journey meticulously. She decided to self publish her story and hired editors and people to help her polish it. Not long later, she received a call to ask if the film rights were still available. And then she received offers from various publishers in different locations for the rights. The book went through various edit rounds again before being published by Penguin in the UK and Australia (it is officially released tomorrow here and in NZ).

I’ve never left Australia so I’m equally drawn to books documenting travel and repelled by them. On one hand they allow me to experience something that I’ll never be able to do without winning a jackpot in the national lottery. On the other hand they also tend to make me realise that I’ve wasted opportunities in my life – especially all the time I had before having kids. However I found a lot of joy in reading this because it was something I’d never do, time/money or otherwise and therefore I was able to just really enjoy Torre’s experience. I admired her choices – to take the plunge and go sailing halfway around the world with a man she’d known only 7 months. Especially when she was basically afraid of water. And had no sailing experience. And one leg of the journey involved a month at sea without even so much as a glimpse of land – because there isn’t any in that part of the world!

Torre and her boyfriend Ivan sailed the Amazing Grace from California down to Mexico and then across the Pacific to the French Polynesian islands (that is the section that involves one month with no land). From there they island hopped, choosing places at whim because they’d heard about them or because other sailors were going there. They made friends and saw some of the most amazing scenery in the world. But the trip was not without its problems and I find them documented honestly and openly but with a touch of humour that comes from them being in the past. I really enjoyed Torre’s way of telling a story, this book has a natural style that makes you feel included by it and easily able to picture locations, even though I’d never been there. I’m not one for roughing it – I’m hopelessly princessy that way I’m afraid. But I have to admit that their journey sounded beautiful. And I think that it takes a very special relationship to survive this sort of journey as well. Torre and Ivan are never more than a few feet from each other 24 hours a day for almost 2 years. As she says in her book, fights have to end quickly, there’s no time to stew and sulk because things need doing and you have no place to hide. I’ve tried to imagine being with my husband for that amount of time and tried to end up with a scenario where one of us doesn’t push the other one off the boat and haven’t really managed yet! I love my husband but I also very much love my “me time”. He works nights and some of those peaceful hours after the children are in bed and before he arrives home are my most precious. And yet other times I found myself fiercely envious of Torre and Ivan for having all that time together, just themselves.

I loved this book. I’ve since had a nosy around Torre’s website and checked out her blog and her photos and if you read this then I strongly recommend you do the same. She’s been up to quite a lot since the end of her time with Amazing Grace. 


Book #51 of 2013


Love With A Chance At Drowning is my 2nd non-fiction/memoir type novel for the AWW2013 challenge, which makes me happy as I’ve read lots of fiction for this challenge. I like to try and read/review as widely as I can. It’s the 25th novel read so far for the challenge overall.



4 responses to “Love With A Chance Of Drowning – Torre DeRoche

  1. I love travel memoirs and this one sounds like a great read. Nice review Bree, i’ll have to add this one to my wishlist 🙂

  2. […] from Mexico to the French Polynesian islands. I absolutely loved the book (you can read my review here) and jumped at the chance to have Torre, who is currently back in Australia, on the blog to answer […]

  3. […] been wanting to read this since I read Bree’s review at All the Books I Can Read – this kind of memoir wouldn’t have appealed to me otherwise. “New love. Exotic […]

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