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The Water in Between: A Journey at Sea

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    For sailing enthusiasts, especially those seeking to escape their demons

    Like many who sail the high seas in small boats, the author is seeking to cleanse his psyche by leaving behind the civilization he thinks he dislikes. Growing up in a suburb of Winnipeg, Manitoba sounds awful as presented by Patterson, yet he managed to become a physician, a career requiring arduous education and training. But his unhappiness leads him to want to sail to Tahiti, even though he has no sailing experience. So he buys a boat and fortunately finds an experienced sailor to make the trip with him who has a similar desire to escape.

    Their experiences on the high seas are at times quite dangerous, as vividly portrayed by the author. The writing about the sea is crisp, but with frequent side trips to learn about the author, his experiences as an underachieving high schooler in a very cold part of Canada, and his distaste for the military which helped him fund his medical education. The biggest thing missing from those side trips is an understanding of the author's relationship with his parents and family. It is hard to understand his unhappiness given his successful completion of medical training. Perhaps he was just immature. Maybe he had some kind of psychological problem. In any event, by the end of this travel story, he sorely appreciates terra firma, but the ending does not make it clear if he has resolved his demons or can have a committed relationship with a woman, something he seemed to have difficulty achieving.

    So while the nautical side of the book is engrossing and well written, the author's description of himself, his demons and the end result of his exciting sailing experiences are incomplete and not fully satisfying. Frankly, he comes off as somewhat moody and petulant. Perhaps Patterson needs to try something other than sailing the Pacific in a small boat to fully resolve his issues. Nonetheless, The Water in Between is a good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2003


    This book truly captures you. The story is so real, believable that you have no choice but to feel with him the pain, trepidation and exhilaration of his journey. Even though its not the most flowing book written there is something very special in the raw story that makes me recommend it to you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2011

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