Happy April and Easter,
With longer spring days it can be hard to sit still and read. A lounge chair, reading sunglasses and a glass of ice tea is in the future for me if I want to actually finish a book.
Book club recently picked and read Fourteen by Leslie Johansen Nack; one of our members knows the author and Leslie agreed to join us at our book club meeting for our discussion. It made for an exciting and very interesting evening.
Fourteen is the perfect summer read. Leslie tells her story of trials, adventure, survival and coming of age on a sailboat.
Every family lives with a bit of dysfunction whether it is life altering or a mere smidge, it forms who we are. For Leslie and her 2 sisters, they have lived with more than most. A mother with mental illness and a father who is intense, hard, determined and abusive. Their father has a dream of sailing the world and taking the 3 girls along.
Leslie’s father searches for the perfect boat, when he stumbles upon a 45 ft. sailboat, he buys and names Aegir, found not far from home. The girls work to help him fix, restore and ready the boat for their adventures.
The girls attend school in Oceanside, California, have friends and are not sold on this idea and dream of their father’s. He trains, tests and continues to train the girls to become sailor’s and very proficient sailor’s, ready for any situation that may arise on their travels. Moving on board, they ready the boat to leave.
Leslie is frightened and unsettled, life on board is tense and she struggles to avoid her father; hard to do on a 45 ft. sailboat. She loves him and despises him, tries to make him proud and then caring less she doesn’t care how he feels. Her emotions are all over the place, and she struggles to come of age and make sense of what her future holds.
Finally the day has arrived and they set sail from San Diego; they are off. One sister is violently sea sick and Leslie proves herself as a knowledgeable sailor. They all will enjoy fun adventures along the way, struggles and at times a bit of terror. Through it all, important life skills are learned, making Leslie who she was and is today.
I so enjoyed reading her story. Having sailed and spent time on boats, I understand a bit about the love for the sea, respecting its power and yet its peacefulness and calm.
Sitting down with Leslie we all had some questions, non were off limits and all were answered. We heard more stories, were pulled in to her world, felt her pain and fear, but excited about the adventures. She is a strong, intelligent woman who has overcome much in her life. I admire her bravery and courage to relive the memories and be brutally honest in sharing her story.
Fourteen will leave you on the edge, wanting more and curious about what is next. So before I spill anymore, I will leave you there, maybe wanting more? I hope you will read Fourteen and then we all can anxiously await the next book which will delve more into their adventures, life and the story will continue.
Until next time,