As a general rule I don’t read love stories or travel memoirs. So there were already two major factors working against the likelihood that I’d enjoy ‘Love With A Chance of Drowning’. But like any arbitrarily drawn rule, exceptions can always be made. After all, since becoming a reader of her blog a few years ago, I knew that Torre was a witty writer armed with a warm heart and a bucketload of interesting stories.
So when I finally got around to buying a copy of Torre’s debut book, I was already familiar with her charming style and the gist of her adventurous tale – so I knew I’d have no trouble on those fronts – but what about how her story would be conveyed?
The main reason I don’t read many travel memoirs is that their authors often have a tendency to hold themselves apart from the reader or maintain some measure of distance from their location. The realities of a travelling life get glossed over, lost beneath a neat layer of pretty words and descriptions of stunning vistas. So I feel like I don’t get an honest impression of what it’s like to be that person, in that place and at that time.
Thank goodness then for ‘Love With A Chance Of Drowning’ because it’s forced me to revise some long-held reading prejudices. Torre is open and honest about the situations she finds herself in, and similarly shares her feelings and fears about the prospect of a long-term sea voyage, the challenges of a yet-to-be-determined future, and a potential great love. What to do if you’re a self-confessed ‘city girl’ with a fear of the ocean and in love with a man who’s about to embark on a sailing adventure across the Pacific? Do you face your fears and join him? Or stay behind and possibly regret that decision forever?
While it took me a little while to adjust to the very personal nature of the story, as the bulk of pages shifted from right to left, I found myself irresistibly drawn in. But don’t worry, it’s not all sun-drenched romance and swashbuckling adventure … there’s plenty of genuine humour sprinkled in as well.
Closing the cover of ‘Love With A Chance Of Drowning’ left me with the feeling of a nice warm hug … and some days that kind of connection just can’t be topped.