Thursday, July 2, 2009
A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure
A Pearl in the Storm is on the summer list of Oprah's recommended books and sounded intriguing. Tori Murden McClure was the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean alone. She completed this amazing feat after a tragically failed attempt when she got caught in three hurricanes that nearly killed her. The first 2/3 of the book documents her travails in the first attempt she made to cross the Atlantic. There are fascinating stories of shark sightings, sperm whales nearly capsizing her boat, communing with dolphins, and all of the equipment breakdowns she had to deal with. I was amazed by her intelligence and ingenuity in dealing with adversity. The story of her survival on the boat is intermittently sprinkled with stories from her past that illuminate for the reader how Tori became the woman she is today. The flashbacks tie in neatly to what she is experiencing on the boat and she does not glorify herself in any way. When she returns from her attempt is when the book took a personal turn for me. She falls in love for the first time at the age of 35. I thought I was one of the only women alive who hasn't been in love at 35! Her experience gave me hope and was even scarier to me than her journey across the ocean. I really admired her willingness to expose her weaknesses and how she was able to turn them into strengths. This book is about much more than rowing across the ocean; it's about resilience, learning how to take down the walls that keep you from knowing others and yourself, and about reaching goals, though it may almost kill you to do so. Great book!