Tuesday, May 18, 2021

18 Days ~ A Book Review

Alexandra and I have been star-crossed from the beginning of our relationship, and by relationship, I mean that I began following her blog in preparation for my own cruising adventures, until we caught up enough to be followed in return. So what does that make us? Blog Buddies? Whatever…

We have many similarities, not the least of which is our “Powers”, ( Her husband, Dave called it being “Witchy”) that sometimes tell us what is going to happen… Some time ago, I went to Alexandra’s website and took a look at her book, but before I could figure out how to purchase it, I got sidetracked and then completely forgot about it. Fastforward to yesterday, when Alex sent me a message asking if I would read and critique her book… YES PLEASE! This is not the first time this has happened to me. The first time, I was asked to review a book by one of my blog followers, and I had already done a blog post on that very same book!?! (Powers) So, he asked me to review another… But that’s a different story.

I have ALWAYS enjoyed Alex’s witty way with words, and so, with the anticipation of being thoroughly entertained… I began reading 18 Days. There are things that always impress me when reading Alex’s blogs. She is funny, she is articulate and she is unfailingly clever. It is her clever way with words, combined with the sailing/land life comparisons sprinkled throughout, that sing to my soul the most. But then, there is the element of the unknown to be revealed. That extra distance that Banyan went, beyond what we did in our own travels, that lures me even more!

Alex writes “to you”. It is a most endearing quality, and it makes reading her thoughts seem like they are your own as well. It’s almost as if your consciousness is joined with hers as she takes you along, step by step, worry by worry, triumph by triumph! You will suffer angst, but smile knowingly throughout this tale, woven so artfully, with foreshadowing and an ample serving of satisfying “reveals”!

The story unfolds, full of “fun fact” inserts, and candid glimpses into the hearts of this couple I thought I knew. Only now, after experiencing this adventure, do I feel like we could have been separated at birth! I love how Alex zooms us high into the air so that we can see the developing plan, and then, in a flash, we are sitting next to her in a frigid car, sipping hot coffee and peering through icy windows at oncoming night traffic… If the purpose of reading a book is to be whisked away from where you are, to be plunked down in a place you’ve never been, but now feel that you have… 18 Days serves that purpose admirably. I guess all of that blogging has prepared Alex for her role as writer of books!

Even more enthralling, are her descriptions. Traversing the Gorge, and then the morning after once they’ve reached the relative safety of Guatemala’s Gringo Bay, and so many more. Some may say that tales full of wordy descriptions can be off-putting… au contraire! Just sit a while with Alex as she has her morning coffee, and you’ll know exactly what I mean!

I could go on and on… with every experience Alex shares, some are new to me, while yet others are as familiar as the sound of the three breaths a huge sea turtle takes before disappearing once more into the murky depths. The sound heard loud at such close range, as we live among them. As I read along, the tale becomes a compelling ride to the finish. I wonder as I read, “Will this be interesting to all audiences?” I think so. It is certainly easily understandable, even to readers who have never experienced travel by boat. BUT, to those of us who have, it takes us back to those travels, and I can totally relate. But more than that, it takes me to places I have never been, but could have. And now, just as her words made it possible for me to proceed with our life of cruising, they have made it possible for me to experience with Alex and David… these 18 Days. On-On!

You can get your copy of 18 Days as an eBook, for the very reasonable price of $6. All proceeds to go help the people of Guatemala recover from Hurricane Iota.

Thank you, Alexandra, for allowing me the honor of reading your book!

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