ARC Review: Bluewater Walkabout - Into Africa, Finding Healing Through Travel by Tina Dreffin

Release Date: September 10, 2016
Publisher: Tina Carlson Dreffin
Format: Kindle
 266 pagesGenre: MemoirBuy: Paperback | Kindle


Bluewater Walkabout: Into Africa is a memoir about a much-anticipated sailing adventure that the author, Tina, and her family embark upon. But when her sons bring along two friends who upset the family balance, rogue waves and large sharks threaten the family’s safety, and Tina begins to deal with mysterious and health problems, the perils of life at sea become very real. The book begins with an adventurous safari through Africa, during which Tina reflects on the challenges that a life lived differently can bring. Half running from an early adulthood fraught with sexual trauma, and half running towards a dream, Tina met her husband and the two of them decided to live a life at sea. This story is candid, moving, heartfelt and beautifully written. What sets it aside from other sailing memoirs is that it is about so much more than the journey. Tina writes about topics such as mental illness, sexual assault, the loss of a child, and the challenges of motherhood in such a way that they are naturally woven into the narrative and add a layer of complexity and strength to the story that makes it universal and enjoyable to those who have been to sea and those who haven’t.


I really wanted to like this book.  I loved the description but I just found it a little flat.  If you like sailing, know anything about sailing then this book will definitely speak to you. Because there is a lot of sailing jargon. The sailing portions flew a bit above my head but I was fascinated by the safari, and could feel Tina's anguish at letting her boys surf crazy waves and be as adventurous as her and her husband. I didn't quite catch the whole healing through travel subtitle to this book.  There was plenty of trauma that happened to Tina but I'm not sure how the travel helped to transform her or help her work through her issues.  There is mention of mental illness but again not sure how travel helped that.
It was an okay read and I'm sure Tina and her family live fantastic and adventurous lives but the best thing I found about the book was the safari which was about 10 pages long. Maybe a sailing buff would get into this more, the danger of sailing on blue water instead of a lake or a river but it just left me a little wanting and ended very abruptly and kinda left me hanging about Tina's mysterious illness.

For such a full and amazing life I found that the stories were rather bland and filled with Tina's constant worry about her boys, her boys friends, sharks or some other danger, real or perceived.  I didn't feel uplifted after reading this book and I had a hard time getting through the 266 pages, it just never drew me in.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through in exchange for an honest review.