Melanie Neale, the author of Boat Girl: A Memoir of Youth, Love, and Fiberglass, grew up aboard a 47’ sailboat traveling the US East Coast and Bahamas. She earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Eckerd College in 2002 and an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida International University in 2006. She has taught college, detailed boats, captained and crewed on boats, coordinated marketing events, and scooped minnows in a bait shop. Melanie currently works as the Director of Career Services for a private art college in northern Florida, where she lives with her husband and daughter. Melanie has been published in many literary journals and magazines, including Soundings, Seaworthy, Southwinds, GulfStream, Latitudes & Attitudes, The Miami Herald’s Tropical Life Magazine, Balancing the Tides, The Georgetown Review, RumBum.com and Florida Humanities. Her “Short Story” column appeared bimonthly in Cruising World Magazine from 2006 to 2009.
Boat Girl: A Memoir of Youth, Love, & Fiberglassby Melanie Neale
“Boat Girl” is the heart-breaking memoir of what it’s like to grow up aboard a sailboat. Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, Melanie’s family lived aboard a 47-foot sailboat, spending their summers along the US East Coast and their winters in the Bahamas. But the cruising life was not all fun in the sun. The family had to work hard
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“Boat Girl” is the heart-breaking memoir of what it’s like to grow up aboard a sailboat. Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, Melanie’s family lived aboard a 47-foot sailboat, spending their summers along the US East Coast and their winters in the Bahamas. But the cruising life was not all fun in the sun. The family had to work hard to pay for their way of life. They dodged hurricanes, overzealous federal agents and bullying land-kids. And they endured a boatload of family drama. As her father published articles about how living on a boat brings families together, Melanie secretly struggled with an eating disorder, the alienation of being a boat kid, and confusion over her developing sexuality. As an adult, she lived aboard her own 28-foot sailboat and had several relationships trying to find someone who wasn’t intimidated by her stubborn independence and free-spirited lifestyle. “Boat Girl” weaves all this together into a story about a girl who, once all is said and done, simply wants her own boat and her own life.
Melanie paints a vivid picture of the trials and tribulations of family life aboard a sailboat without drowning the reader in the technical details of sailing. “Boat Girl” strikes a perfect balance between a coming of age story and a sea tale, enjoyable for boaters and land-lovers alike.
“Boat Girl captures the wonders and the paradoxes of growing up just offshore from American culture in a way that I haven’t ever seen in a lifetime of reading about such things.”
- Tim Murphy, Editor-at-Large, Cruising World, Coauthor, Fundamentals of Marine Service Technology
“An inspiring and beautifully written true story of a young woman schooled in the sea.”
- Dan Wakefield, author of “New York in the Fifties”
- Beating Windward Press
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 4 MB
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
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