BOOKS, Fears and Worries

Book review - Swept: Love With a Chance of Drowning, by Torre DeRoche

'Swept: Love With a Chance of Drowning' - Book Cover - Photo from

I’m a sucker for a well-told tale, and Swept: Love With a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche is just that.  Decades ago, sailing sagas were told by weathered men sailing solo on distant seas; today they are told by the women convinced to go along.

Not unlike Janna Cawrse Esarey’s Motion of the Ocean, Swept is the true story of a young woman who falls for a guy who has a dream of sailing the world.  She doesn’t know he has the dream when she falls for him, and, when he falls for her, he doesn’t believe her when she confesses she is deathly afraid of the ocean.

Somehow love counterbalances terror just enough to get her aboard for passage to the South Pacific

Torre’s fears are realistic, and her experiences — good and bad — are as well.  This makes Swept a particularly timely recommendation for readers as her experiences and insights partner perfectly our current feature collection addressing Fear.  She evokes vividly and accurately the worries of brand new sailors.

What is also realistic — and unfortunate — is the strategy the man in her life, Ivan, uses to persuade her aboard.  It’s the “I will do everything,” “nothing will happen, so “don’t worry about it” three-prong approach.  Torre is smart enough and has the right instincts not to buy into all that, but she has the bad luck not to find good mentors until she is well into her voyage.  Her trials and tribulations make for great drama, of course, but I found myself thinking over and over, “What a shame she didn’t find Women and Cruising to turn to!” and so smooth out a whole lot of the bumps!

On the other hand, her portrait of Ivan is even-handed and insightful into all the complexities that make Ivan the man he is.  He isn’t just a guy who read Moitessier’s sailing sagas and wanted that for himself; his motivations are more complex.  He’s no villain.  He just wants something so badly he sometimes overlooks practicalities and realities and jumps over important items on the To Do List in his eagerness to get going which results in some unnecessary crises.

Like all cruising sailors, Torre discovers the great magic of the lifestyle: that the wonderful times wipe away the memories of the tougher moments.  And, what is fun for newbies and old hands alike is Torre’s well-evoked sense of the Coconut Milk Run, the places, the characters, the cravings and the rewards, and, yes, the misadventures as well as the adventures.  An artist, Torre’s word pictures bring alive on the page scenes so many of us have experienced.

Swept: Love With a Chance of Drowning can be purchased in regular book or Kindle e-book format from through Remember, every item you purchase through our links benefits this website ….which gives newbies like Torre better resources for a smoother experience!

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