Narrator: George Newbern, Erica Sullivan
on March 5, 2019
Genres: Non Fiction
Length: 8 hours, 35 minutes
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Working the night shift as a temp in a high-rise cubicle, Erik Orton knew something had to change. He felt the responsibility of providing for his wife and their five children, the youngest with Down syndrome, but craved a life that offered more than just surviving.
Watching the sailboats on the Hudson River during his sunset dinner breaks, Erik dared to dream. What would it be like to leave the hustle of the city and instead spend a year on a sailboat, somewhere beautiful, as a family? Despite having no sailing experience, his wife Emily's phobia of deep water, and already stretching every dollar to pay rent and buy groceries, the family of seven turned their excuses into reasons and their fears into motivation. Sure, they would miss their friends, they could go broke, they could get injured or die. Worst of all, they could humiliate themselves by trying something audacious and failing. But the little time they still had together as a family, before their oldest daughter left for college, was drifting away. The Ortons cast off the life they knew to begin an uncertain journey of 5,000 miles between New York City and the Caribbean, ultimately arriving at a new place within themselves.
A portrait of a captivating and resilient family and a celebration of the courage it takes to head for something over the horizon, this is a deeply compelling story, told alternately by Erik and Emily, for all those who dream of leaving routine in their wake.
I don’t read a lot of non fiction but this is the type I enjoy most other than reference materials like cooking or knitting books. There are travel books of the reference type which can also be helpful and they also tend to contain stories in addition to the facts.
If you enjoy travel stories and human adventures, this is a highly recommended read for you. I really enjoyed so many things. The alternating chapters and points of view between Erik and Emily was great. Having two perspectives is wonderful; it would have been interesting to have a paragraph from each child’s thoughts too. I appreciated their hard-won learning and journey into something new. I admire their courage in going into the unknown. Seven at Sea is told in an honest sharing by these two parents, mistakes and triumphs all on view.
While not everything went smoothly, (when does that happen?), it gave them such an amazing education. It’s not just the sailing skills they developed, it is the emotional journey. They learned to work together in close quarters as a family, a team. This family found new friends in many places. Erik and Emily chose to devote time to the family being together instead of each off on some separate tasks of work, education or other activities (sports, music, etc.). This worked well with their setting out into a unique experience together. What a stunning success for their family!
George Newbern is a familiar narrator to me. Erica Sullivan is new to me. I really enjoyed the narration at 1.5x speed. Since there was little dialogue, each narrator gave us the stream of thoughts by their character. They did a wonderful performance.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2019 Audiobooks
- 2019 Library-Love
- 2019 Releases
- COYER Hunt