Hello! I live in London, and I like reading about history, travel and literature. I also like good non-fiction about things I don't know about yet, and adventures.
"Love With a Chance of Drowning" is a travel narrative by a young Australian woman who sailed across the Pacific with her Argentinean boyfriend after meeting him just a few months before. It's labelled a "memoir", but I have trouble applying that term to anything written by anyone as young as Torre DeRoche (in a nice way!).
I bought it because DeRoche is a travel blogger (at Fearful Adventurer) who self-published at first and then landed a fairly good book deal, and I'm pretty sure I want to do that (or something like it) too. It has also been quite well-reviewed and I'm happy to say I can add my voice to that side.
DeRoche is genuinely funny, and although I have zero interest in ocean sailing (or any type of sailing), it was a warm and accessible read. Her descriptions of the places they visited were beautiful, and I admire her ability as a writer to differentiate among lots of pretty, peaceful Pacific islands, which could have all run into each other. Instead I remember the cove where they met Steve and Carol, a silver foxy sailing couple in their '60s; the lagoon where they accidentally sail through the most dangerous entry in the area during a storm; the lovely resort island where they meet up with DeRoche's in-laws and are nearly kicked out of the hotel pool area for looking too scruffy.
I did get a bit fed up with the character of her boyfriend, Ivan, who I think would have driven me absolutely mad (which is why she's going out with him and I'm not!). Fairly predictable disasters occur due to his overconfidence - for example, she suggests they tie up their dinghy overnight during a storm, he says "It'll be fine! Stop worrying!" and the dinghy, surprise surprise, sinks - but I did like how the book wasn't a romantic love story, as I was expecting (worried) it would be. Torre and Ivan are in a happy relationship at the beginning of their journey and are in a happy relationship at the end of it, which was very narratively refreshing.
A very enjoyable story with sharp writing, and I'm glad I read it.