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Just finished reading 'Child of the Sea' by Jimmy Cornell's daughter. And the first thing to say is that she stands on her own - she is not riding on his coat tails at all. I was very impressed by how much this was HER story.
It is about her childhood years sailing around the world with her father, mother and brother on their boat. A good narrative with some nice pictures too, even if they are somewhat low res black and white. The writing was clean and easy to read, and enjoyable the whole way through.
The most interesting thing to me was how in the beginning, the writing style was somewhat simplistic, like you would expect from a young girl. And as she grew, the writing became more mature as well, and the depth of feeling expanded. By the time she was a teenager, I really felt the pathos of her life and all she was going through, both good and bad. I'm not sure if she did this on purpose or if it's just how it worked out, but I liked it quite a bit.
And what a life she had ! What most will only dream about. As a cruising sailor myself, I could understand much of what the journey involved, even though I have not gone more than a few hundredths of what the Cornells did. Much respect to them all, and much gratitude to Doina for this wonderful trip she takes us on. I think it is something to note that she is not sailing now, with her own family. That was enough for her ! Each generation seems to react against what they had to endure in their own childhood. As much as she appreciates the memory of that time, I also sense that she loves stability and ground under her feet and a place to hang up all her clothes - all things which anyone who has spent time cruising can relate to.
I read the Kindle edition, which was one of the better ones to date.Read more ›
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If you are going cruising with your kids you will like this book. If you are not, it is still an interesting read from the daughter of a sailing legend. Lots of insight to life aboard. It looks at Doina's life and gives you an idea of what it would be like growing up under Jimmy's care.
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From the ages of 7 to 14 Doina sailed around the world with her family on a small yacht, visiting more than 50 countries and covering thousands of miles over land and sea. After returning to the UK to finish her education, she worked with her father Jimmy Cornell researching World Cruising Handbook as well as assisting on international sailing events such as America 500 which commemorated Christopher Columbus' transatlantic voyages. Later she helped set up and manage www.noonsite.com, a website for cruising sailors.
In 1998 Doina was one of the winners of the London Arts Board short story competition with her story 'Does the Sun rise over Dagenham?' In 1999 she married Julius Tomin, a Czech philosopher, and in 2000 moved with her family to Gloucestershire in the UK. 'Child of the Sea', an account of her sailing childhood, is her first book for children.