Tuesday 14 May 2024

Boat Girl

Finished May 8
Boat Girl by Melanie Neale

This memoir grew on me as I got further into it. Melanie's story goes from her beginning to age 32, sometimes jumping a few years in the later sections. Her parents bought a new sailboat shortly before she was born, and she spent her youth growing up on the boat, travelling from her parent's home port in Virginia to Florida and from there to the Bahamas, usually on the smaller islands that make up the Exumas. Her father had worked as a lawyer prior to this, and used the money he earned there to buy the boat and fund the first few years of sailing. He began writing about their experiences and about sailing in more general ways and wrote both books and articles and continued to fund their life from these endeavours. 
I found her life interesting, from her parents' insistence on proper schooling using correspondence material from accredited schools, to encouraging her to learn practical skills that went along with owning a large sailboat and living on it. She dealt with some common teen issues such as finding friends and body image, and with her father's expectations around her relationships. 
I liked that she thought about what she really enjoyed doing and changed her major in college early to concentrate on that passion. 
Both informative and personally open, this memoir gives a realistic view of this way of life.  

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