3 out of 4 stars
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“Wars would not be initiated if more of our countrymen travel to foreign lands and stayed awhile,” says Tina Dreffin, generously sharing her thoughts, while embarked on an unforgettable South Pacific expedition with a feeling of pleasure and fear in her heart. Bluewater Walkabout: Into Africa by Tina Dreffin is a wonderful memoir in which the author revitalizes her broken spirit and fulfills her spiritual quest of wanderlust (an aboriginal custom in Australia).
The author commenced her sea voyage from South Africa to the Caribbean with her husband, two teenage sons, and their two friends. The journey was full of perils with deadly waves and sea creatures. In South Africa, the Kruger national park (safari) was a substantial part of their trip. The author wonderfully demystified the physical and emotional setbacks that she had to face along with her family during her travel; especially, the unsafe parts of crime-ridden South Africa were a big challenge for them. But this zealous family never budged before insurmountable challenges and accomplished their ambitious drive. In addition, Tina shared some bleak phases of her life before her marriage with Peter that contained both financial enigmas and physical abuses.
I like travel memoirs, but this book was unique in the sense that the author had opted the story of a sea adventure that she undertook with her family. In this book, Tina appears as a gorgeous and versatile woman who is a caring mother, a kind and beloved wife, and an avid adventurist. The most appealing element of this book for me was the subtle narrative of the author. The details and the characters were all relatable and the author beautifully unveils every experience of her journey. I immensely enjoyed the author’s depiction of socio-cultural aspects of different places where she roamed, especially the South-African locations like; Port Elisabeth, Cape of Storms, Skeleton Coast, Jeffery’s Bay, and Cape Town. Another delightful addition was the inclusion of colored family pictures along with a journey-map that boosted up my interest in the book.
There were many flashbacks. However, they were so smoothly inter-woven in the story that it didn’t disrupt the flow of my reading. On the contrary, I enjoyed it as it provided a comprehensive picture of her present and past life. Moreover, the author has included many valuable references at the end of the book regarding particular incidents like cancer, miscarriage or sexual assaults. So it will definitely help out readers during their travel. However, I have some incongruence about the ending as it was a bit empty. I can say it a cliff-hanger ending. But I think, the author would have filmed or connected the events in the following books of her adventurous memoir. Another thing that I noted was the lack of placing events in chronological order.
Moreover, the book contains some minor mistakes like extra spacing between lines, and misplaced words, etc. Overall, the book is well-edited and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It was an awesome memoir. However, keeping in mind the above-mentioned flaws, I take away one star and rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. If you love traveling and interested in sea adventures, then this memoir will provide you with ample information about the oceanic weather, its threats, and pleasant experiences. While reading this book, I felt myself there and enjoyed every new experience with the author.
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