When I wrote Ready to Come About, I expected there’d be sailors who would appreciate my accounts of our improbable, often perilous, year on the high seas. And there are… many. For example, Katherine Stone, of Canadian Yachting, wrote, in part:
I can truly attest this is a great page turner and a MUST read for any woman who thinks that she couldn’t possibly go cruising, cross an ocean, or who needs to get out of her comfort zone to grow and have an adventure—possibly learning more about herself. This isn’t to say men won’t find the book interesting or enjoyable, as they certainly will.Katherine Stone, Canadian Yachting
Rob Mazza, of Good Old Boat, described my memoir as well-written, pleasurable, and “both an inspiration and a cautionary tale”.
And, a Goodreads reviewer expressed:
A thoroughly enjoyable seagoing adventure story written with style and precision. An ex-sailor myself, I can assure you that it is highly realistic and includes just the right amount of boating jargon and terminology to be easily understood by all.Warren, Goodreads Review
Of course I am very pleased with the enthusiastic support by the sailing community. However, I did not set out to write the book as purely a sailing memoir.
I hoped there would be an occupational therapy audience, given that the concepts of autonomy, self-determination and the right to take risks, all values central to the profession, are explored in the book. And that turned out to be the case. In the most recent issue of The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists’ magazine, Occupational Therapy Now, Sue Baptiste remarked:
Ready to Come About is totally awesome—absolutely! It emerges as a powerful metaphor and a testament to believing in self, taking chances, relationships, choice… In short, it is a thesis on occupation and spirit.Sue Baptiste, Professor Emerita, Rehabilitation Sciences, McMaster University
And I really hoped there would be moms and dads who could relate to our struggles to give our young-adult kids the freedom they needed to grow into themselves. Here’s what Sharon—one of many parents— expressed on that front:
Every thought and questioning she had about her children and their futures were the same thoughts and questions I have/had as a parent.
It is a fun read, a thoughtful read, and somewhat of a study on human spirit. I would totally recommend this book to anybody who wants to, at the end of the book, close it and go, “ahhh, that was soooooooo good.”Sharon, Goodreads Review
What never crossed my mind, though, was that Ready to Come About would attract crafters. Yet it has. Most recently, I received an email from intrepid knitter and knitting instructor, Lucy, of Lucy Neatby Designs, who said she picked up my memoir at a used bookstore. In her newsletter she described it as a happy pre-pandemic find and stated she was completely hooked when she read the part in which, at a dinner party… having had a lot of wine… I concluded that a knitting project was more important than a life raft on an ocean crossing. Here is the excerpt:
Boredom!” I blurted before she had a chance. “Honest to God. Not storms, not sharks — it’s boredom!” I repeated louder, with more conviction. “Our friend Cameron said his dad told him a friend of a friend —”
“Good grief, Sue,” Colleen said, looking over at Roger.
“Surprising, I know. Ironically, having a knitting project will be more important than a life raft!”Sue Williams, Excerpt from Ready to Come About
I am so happy my memoir is speaking to so many people in so many different ways.
There are lots of ways to read a book!