by Marie Browne
Surprise, surprise: another free ebook I found years ago on Amazon's Kindle shop!
It took me a few chapters to get into the story, but then I quite enjoyed the book and was looking forward to finding out what was going to happen next.
Marie Browne tells her own story here. She and her husband run their own successful business (IT support and project management, if I remember correctly) until their biggest client goes broke and leaves their bills unpaid.
This leads to the couple having to face an uncertain future, with only one thing being clear: Things can not stay as they are, and they can not keep the house.
The decision is made to sell up, buy a narrow boat and live on that.
How they chose a boat and turn it into a home (this takes many months), learn the ropes of moving the boat along without too much harm to themselves, the boat and others, adapt to life on the water, manage minor and major crises and eventually find they are happier than ever before in their lives is told in an unpretentious way, with a good portion of humour thrown in.
Not always the kind of humour that makes me laugh, but humour anyway. And you can tell the author is not a practised or "learned" writer; she rather describes the day-to-day happenings as if you'd be reading someone's blog or emails from a friend.
I liked the descriptions of life aboard the boat and, even though I have never travelled on one, I can imagine it well. I've often seen narrow boats on Ripon Canal and elsewhere.
Would it be for me? Hmm... not sure. I guess I'd miss the comfort and space of a "proper" flat, central heating and reliably hot showers, as well as the familiarity of going to "my" bakery on the corner, of seeing the neigbhours, friends and family I like on a regular basis.
It is certainly a different way of life, and I enjoyed reading about it.
I wish Marie Browne and her family all the best - whereever they may be these days.
Click here for a BBC article with pictures about Marie, the boat and the family's life on board.