Official Review: Bluewater Walkabout by Tina Dreffin

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Official Review: Bluewater Walkabout by Tina Dreffin

Post by L_Therese » 16 Jan 2017, 22:04

[Following is an official review of "Bluewater Walkabout" by Tina Dreffin.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Haven’t you ever thought of just leaving your world behind and sailing off on a grand adventure? That kind of fantasy is usually just that: fantasy. For Tina Dreffin, though, this was real life. In her non-fiction memoir, Bluewater Walkabout, Tina shares her experiences adventuring with her family across oceans in distant, exotic locales. Her life at sea is the ultimate embarkation.

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of a memoir is its ability to share unique experiences. In Ms. Dreffin’s case, whether the topic is her chosen lifestyle of living aboard a boat in the Caribbean or her journey across the ocean to southern Africa, this memoir opens a window into a world few others will ever have the chance to experience. From safari tours to ocean gales and from near collisions with diamond miners to near teenage mutinies, this family’s trip is packed with thrills and drama.

Through it all, Ms. Dreffin’s voice keeps the book human and relatable. As a mother, she worries. As a wife, she adores and admires. As a spirited adventuress, she picks herself up, shakes off her insecurities, and faces her next challenge. She doesn’t let the reader forget that the distance from medical help can be more frightening than navigating a notoriously treacherous sea lane, and she’s not afraid to expose her insecurities about her ability to discipline her teenage crew well enough to keep them safe in crime-ridden ports.

Most of the book was very educational. As one might expect, there’s a lot to learn about boats, and sometimes it would have been helpful to have a direct explanation. There are plenty of context clues though, and most readers will undoubtedly emerge at the end with new sailing knowledge. The book is also riddled with other lessons. These small topics (for example, the reason why Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb on St. Helena did not bear his name) can range from interesting to distracting, depending on reader predilection.

The editing in the book could have been better. There were a few minor typographical errors: “this” for “his” or switching character names, for example. There were also a lot of flashbacks to previous experiences or seasons in the author’s life. These time jumps were somewhat problematic for me. Especially near the beginning, when many people were being introduced very rapidly, it sometimes became difficult to keep track of when the action is happening and who is present. On a couple of occasions, these flashbacks became especially confusing when they were executed mid-chapter, or in one instance, mid-paragraph. The ending of the book was awkward. The story didn’t feel over, and although it wasn’t technically a cliff-hanger, it was abrupt.

When Bluewater Walkabout was Book of the Day in November 2016, I passed it over. Giving it another chance was time well spent, and I have no regrets in reversing my earlier decision. I learned a lot, had a vicarious adventure, and got to know an amazing woman and her family. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. If you are an adventurer or just an adventurer at heart, this book is a great candidate for you.

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 17 Jan 2017, 22:07

Sounds like a great read especially for readers who are into real life adventures. Too bad, though, about the editing. Great job on the review.

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Post by Insightsintobooks » 17 Jan 2017, 22:11

I love adventures and memoirs. This book sounds like one I'd be interested in. Thank you for the review.
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Post by Lincoln » 23 Jan 2017, 08:58

Thanks for the review! I love a good memoir so will have to check this one out!
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Post by kandscreeley » 14 Mar 2017, 15:05

I would love to be able to go on an adventure like this. At least I might be able to read about it and live vicariously! Thanks for the review.
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Post by hsimone » 29 May 2017, 06:30

Wow! I cannot imagine traveling the way the author and her family did! Those experiences are ones that will stick forever. Even with the dangerous adventures, it's great that the author keeps the writing relatable and spirited. It would definitely help me to enjoy the story! Too bad about the errors you had found and that the flashbacks were unclear. I would probably have the same feelings toward this as you. Thank you for sharing your thought, and I'm glad that you were able to enjoy the read!
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Post by gali » 29 May 2017, 06:46

Sounds like quite the adventure! The lifestyle of living aboard a boat sure sounds unique. It is great that the memoir opens a window into such an exotic world. Too bad about the errors. Hopefully, they were fixed by now. Thank you for the review!
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Post by christinac_2585 » 29 May 2017, 06:46

Sounds like a wonderful memoir for readers that like this genre. Thank you for your review!
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Post by OlgaNM » 29 May 2017, 09:24

Thanks for the review and for highlighting the positive aspects without forgetting the not-so-positive.
I will check it out.
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Post by twenty7 » 29 May 2017, 09:29

Great review. Thanks

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Post by Jaime Lync » 29 May 2017, 09:52

Thanks for the review. This sounds like my cup of tea.

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Post by uk8971 » 29 May 2017, 14:01

Tina's experiences adventuring with her family across oceans in distant and exotic locales is definitely worth a read. Congrats on being the BOTD.. :)

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Post by Miriam Molina » 29 May 2017, 16:01

The sample I read was quite addicting. The author's experiences were surreal. I hope to get the whole story soon.
Thanks for the frank review too.

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Post by Dotolusanya » 29 May 2017, 18:42

The book is quite interesting. it sounds revealing an old personal experience.

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Post by Titus Michael » 13 Aug 2017, 17:53

The review is really nice, and I really feel like I should grab a copy for myself because I really do love adventures

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