Ten Degrees of Reckoning is the true story of one family that realized their dream of taking their sailboat on a trip around the world until, one dark and stormy night, a series of bad decisions by one freighter lead to tragic consequences.This book is an absolute tearjerker The story itself will leave you speechless the lack of justice that followed the tragedy will make you angry But I still found myself heartened by the family s journey, all the things they got to see and experiences they got to have before the tragedy I was jealous The story was written by a friend of the family It is not an objective book, but it is fairly well written and very quick to read, if you re not too busy crying. Brief Description In 1993, Judith and Michael Sleavin and their two children, Ben and Annie, set out to live their dream to sail around the world But one night, a freighter off the coast of New Zealand altered its course by a mere ten degrees and caused catastrophic damage to the Sleavin s sailboat With her son Ben immediately lost, Judith, Michael and Annie struggled to survive through the night Only Judith made it surviving 44 hours in the water, with a back broken in several places and paralyzed below the waist With little to live for, Judith nevertheless recovered, though she suffered one of the worst cases of post traumatic stress syndrome ever documented Driven by her need to see justice and help ensure that the accident that killed her family wouldn t happen again, Judith struggled to create a life for herself despite often feeling that she had nothing to live for.My Thoughts This is a difficult review to write as I had to separate out the story of what happened to the Sleavins and the book itself What happened to the Sleavin family is heart breaking, chilling and oddly compelling I can t even imagine the pain and fear that Judith Sleavin must have experienced in those 44 hours until she was saved Losing your family right before your eyes in such traumatic circumstances would make it difficult to go on The book certainly doesn t sugarcoat Judith s recovery, and it seems that she is still broken in many ways The fact that Judith chose not to share her story until years afterward made me admire her for not capitalizing on the tragedy of her family Her motivations for sharing her story seem honest and true In fact, she chose her close friend Dr Hester Rumberg to tell her story, a decision that I m sure allowed her to open up about her tragedy with less stress.Although Rumberg does her best to tell the Sleavin s story as objectively as possible, therein lies the problem with the book the narration is just too clinical and objective to be affecting The story never fully came alive for me, and I think this was due to the nature of the writing Although the writing is competent and workmanlike, it just doesn t have the emotional impact that you would expect from a story like this The fact that I didn t shed a tear surprised me This is a real tragedy, and yet I felt oddly unaffected while reading I would have loved to see someone like Jon Krakauer or Sebastian Junger tell this story instead Both of those writers are masters at telling nonfiction stories that make the story fully come alive while still maintaining a journalistic distance Sadly, this book just didn t have the emotional oomph it should have had though I certainly don t mean to take away anything from Judith Sleavin s story itself. A Profoundly Powerful And Inspirational Memoir In , Judith And Michael Sleavin And Their Two Children Set Out To Live Their Dream To Sail Around The World But One Night, A Freighter Off The Coast Of New Zealand Altered Its Course By A Mere Ten Degrees And Changed Everything After Surviving Forty Four Hours In The Water, With A Back Broken In Several Places And Paralyzed Below The Waist, Judith Miraculously Survived Doctors Would Later Say She Suffered One Of The Worst Cases Of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome Ever Documented News Of The Collision Made Headlines Around The World, But, Distraught, Judith Never Talked To The Press Her Body Was Broken, And So Was Her Soul Twelve Years Later, Judith Turned To Her Best Friend, Hester Rumberg, And Asked Her To Write What Was Too Painful For Her To Write The Result Is A Gripping, Unbelievable Yet True Story Of One Family S Love, Of Profound Loss, And Of A Remarkable Woman Who Decided To Live When Others Might Have Decided Otherwise But Always It Is A Stunning Account Of Survival, A Meditation On The Strength Of Friendship And Community It Is A Universal Tale Of How Any Of Our Lives Might Be Unexpectedly Altered, How We Might Have To Change What We Hope For, And How We Can Move Forward In Times Of Tragedy Judith Sleavin Now Divides Her Time Between Portland, Oregon, And New Zealand This true story of adventure, tragedy and loss is both heart breaking and inspiring In 1993, the Sleavin family set out to live their dream of sailing around the world As the reader begins to share that journey, there are so many wonderful episodes along the way that make one love this family Then tragedy strikes, and life changes forever The writing will well done and vivid Along with the sadness, the author details the legalities, lawsuits, and cover ups that come in the aftermath. Ten Degrees of Reckoning is the true story of a family s love and the will to survive In it, the Sleavin family set out to sail around the world While on the journey, a tragic event leaves Judith, the mother, injured and alone in the ocean, after the rest of her family perishes The story focuses on her rescue and survival as well as the horrific circumstances surrounding the sinking of their sailing vessel, the Melinda Lee Overall, I liked this book The story was compelling and interesting enough to make me want to keep reading I had to find out what happened to the Sleavins and I didn t want to put the book down until I did I m not a sailor, nor have I ever been sailing, so parts of the book were a little foreign to me It was an appealing read, though, and I loved reading about the different places they visited and the people they met I also learned a little about sailing, being on the ocean and travelling around the world While I really liked the first part of the book, I got totally lost when it came to maritime law, the lawsuit and the specifics of the accident It didn t come across as clear or concise and I had a hard time figuring out what exactly happened There were too many acronyms of acts, groups, agencies etc that I d not heard of before and really meant nothing to me After awhile, it all sounded like a bunch of mumbo jumbo and not very interesting Judith was amazing Not everyone would act the way she did in those circumstances I found it particularly interesting that she knew she had to tell her family s story, but didn t think she d survive past that Essentially, she survived because she didn t think she would The whole story was incredibly heartbreaking, but didn t move me to tears I think had it been written by Judith, in the first person I may have found it moving As is, though, I felt detached, especially in the last part of the book This is just an observation, not a criticism I loved that the author included some maps, especially since the family travelled to places I wasn t familiar with I couldn t always find the locations talked about in the book, but I appreciated the maps nevertheless My second complaint is that the book made it appear as though Michael and the two children were saints and that the marriage between Judith and Michael was perfect They had no disagreements or arguments The children never cried, never acted inappropriately and never had to be disciplined Some of that would have made this family normal It also would have given me the sense that this could happen to me, my family or someone I know It would made me care I know that sounds really harsh, but as it was, I had a hard time imagining myself in their shoes Despite the problems I had with the book, I d still recommend it to others, especially those looking for a true story or those who live near or on the water I borrowed this book from my friend, Karen For information about this book, please visit Penguin s website.Ten Degrees of Reckoning by Hester Rumberg, G.P Putnam s Sons Penguin , 2007 ISBN 9780399155352 Hardcover , 254p.This review is also available on my blog, Daisy s Book Journal. The basic story is riveting, but I did not enjoy the writing at all The gist Woman loses her family in a shipwreck, but she beats amazing odds to survive.It was written by a radiologist and boy can you tell At times, I thought it was endearing to hear the story through a friend s voice, but ultimately we got less close to the subject because of it She dwelled on meaningless details and blew past or omitted meaningful ones.Normally I d shrug my shoulders, but I got increasingly annoyed because what happened was so amazing and I felt like I was missing out on such a great story because she wasn t telling it well This could have been an amazing nonfiction narrative I actually stopped reading and rewrote one scene that had a lot of decent details but used poorly, just because it hurt to read.My breaking point When the author started blathering about where she was on 9 11 I would have saved my breaking point if I knew a short bit later she d write about writing the book Every time the author injected herself into the story, it was absolutely terrible It never showed her passion or emotion toward the situation, which is the only thing I might have cared about from her.All in all, I m still glad I read it because what happened to the main character was so crazy However, I wish someone else had written this book. I ll never forget this book, this woman and her story.This is s true story of seagoing terror unknown to most contemporary people The reader knows up front that 3 people die and one lives She lives for one reason to tell the story of the murder of her family at sea and to provide the details to help find the murderers Her survival from a gigantic freighter smashing into her family s ocean yacht was amazing and against horrifying odds But that was only the beginning of her survival The worst was yet to come she had to live moment by moment without the loving presence of her husband, 4 yr old and 7 yr old and was tormented forever by their deaths in front of her How does one do that Superlatives don t begin to indicate the raw power of Judith s story Courageous is a weak word to describe her grittiness More terrible than her story though is that most of the huge ships on our planet s oceans are not registered in countries that care what crimes they commit on the oceans and never follow up on the murders, refusals to render aid to a damaged boat and survivors, etc That s really scary After sailing the world for three years with their two young children, Mike Judy Sleavin s sailboat was rammed in the middle of the night and only Judy survived I don t think that s a spoiler because all this information is on the book jacket Twelve years later, Judy asked her close friend Hester Rumberg to write the story Hester is actually a radiologist in Seattle but she is also a very gifted writer I particularly liked the way she handled the details of the loss of Mike Ben Annie with subtlety and still conveyed the horror of the scene For anyone who wonders How could a person even go on living after that , Hester writes with great honesty about Judy s struggles to achieve a new normal I thought perhaps this story would be too sad and dark but I felt the author took on that challenge and succeeded at turning it into a triumph of Judy s spirit and courage. A sad, yet remarkable, true story One of the reasons for writing this were to make people aware of Maritime issues The book does this without being boring to a non sailor cruiser The writing is simple and clear, and without sensationalism. How do you even comment on a book like this, much less review it I ve read hundreds of tragedy stories but this just rattled me to the core I hope Judith Sleavin continues to heal and find a measure of joy in her life, which I m sure she has and will The author, Hester Rumberg, is a compassionate and great author I was well educated about the sea throughout the book, it s dangers, laws, complexities, enough to make my head swim I hope others will learn what horrific consequences their lack of experience can have at sea, that countries will hold their companies to higher standards I guess most of all I wish the South Korean company Pan Ocean Shipping Company could be boycotted and put out of business What a disgraceful irresponsible unethical company they are.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the
- 272 pages
- Ten Degrees of Reckoning
- Hester Rumberg
- 17 December 2018 Hester Rumberg