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I so wanted to love this book, when I first saw it in a bookshop in my town I pored over it and resolved to read it as it sounded a very moving tale. Then when I saw it on audible I decided to listen instead.
The true story is incredibly sad and I feel so uncharitable for not having enjoyed this book but I really didn't. I found the narrator - who is also the author - to have a very grating voice with a lot of emphasis on words that didn't seem to need stress on them, and as a result I was soon fairly fed up. I wished they had chosen a professional actor to read the book.
However I persevered to the end because I did want to know the outcome and find out what happened so it was compelling in that sense. I feel a huge amount of compassion for the plight of this poor woman and her kids, and yet I found so much of the book to be embarrassingly concerned with what people might think of her, or trying to defensively paint a portrait of their lives before or after the key event that would portray them all in a positive light! Ultimately while I wanted to get involved and care, and although I did find parts of the book moving, this was very hard work to listen to mainly because the author didn't come across as a particularly nice person. I was puzzled because of the fact that although dealing with grief and being shell shocked by everything, she didn't speak much about missing her husband after he died or of longing for him as I felt sure she would. A lot of the book focuses on outer descriptions of actions or conversations, but what went on in her head and heart is somewhat absent and this left me feeling odd and unsettled, and as though I hadn't had the window into someone's thoughts after a loss that I was expecting.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Decca's ability to translate feelings into words makes all at sea a wonderful book. I have never heard the journey of loss and grief so insightfully told. If you have experienced the loss of a partner yourself you will relate to so many feelings and situations and realise you are after all not that strange