by Bernadette Marama Gavin
‘Writing is an affair of yearning for great voyages and hauling on frayed ropes.’ Israel Shenker
This quote opens Part One and if any sentence sums up this book, it does. An utterly perfect reveal, lovely imagery, too.
My husband has, tucked away inside him, a yen for buying a yacht and sailing away. He had a colleague whose wife and he did just that, taking two small children on a life-changing odyssey. She was on the verge of leaving him – did she even trust him enough? Even as she told me their story, all I felt was awe that a woman could do this with a man she didn’t know she trusted or loved anymore. It was the making of them.
By the Light of the Moon tells a similar story but this memoir shows there is little in the way of romance in a life at sea. Bernadette’s sometimes harrowing tale reveals this and these parts of the story are gripping. The storms, the hunger, the boredom, the exhaustion of minimal sleep and challenging conditions. The images of broken, cluttered yachts similar to theirs anchored in beautiful bays, their owners just as broken, marriages lost as this kind of life takes its grim toll.
Bernadette’s love story works in reverse of that of the people we knew. She meets Will, they begin as friends, then become lovers and it feels through her eyes as something more. After all, they face huge challenges together, life-and-death struggles alone on a vast sea. Yet, instead of bonding them, they drift apart, Bernadette feeling the gradual separation but refusing to see it for several reasons, the main one being she has fallen even more deeply in love with his yacht Wairua, her womb, her home, her catalyst for excitement and travel. When she and Will finally separate, it’s Wairua she misses more with an almost physical pain.
An intensely personal reveal – one woman’s spiritual journey, the oceans and inhabitants providing metaphors and guidance for Bernadette’s changes and development from child to woman.
An interesting read.
Author: Bernadette Marama Gavin
Publisher: Chocolate Fish Publishing
ISBN: 978 047345254 4