Shooting Stars and Flying fish: Memoir Review

Lisa from Sharing the Story – a fellow memoir writer – has called for any reader of memoir or the writing of one to join her in a #memoirReview on twitter of reviews of memoirs that you have read. Visit her to find out the full details but it entails no self-promotion, writing a review that tells who benefits from the review ( we are trying to make these reviews ones that are honest and can genuinely be used as a guide to other readers of memoir), who the potential readers of the memoir are or put hashtags as to the theme of the memoir eg #abuse #cancer#adventure# HowTo.

Today I’m reviewing Shooting Stars and Flying Fish by Nancy Knudsen.

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taken from Amazon.com

I read this memoir in my search for ‘nobody memoirs’. These types of memoirs are written by someone who is not well known prior to writing the memoir i.e. they are not a celebrity or an already well-know author. My other quest was that it was written for no purpose other than the memoirist thinking that she had a jolly good story to tell. Is there a target audience? Definitely Knudsen would have thought her potential market were other sailors. In my opinion it would also appeal to anybody who enjoys true adventure and those that  have dreams of their own. I recommended this book to a colleague who dreamt of sailing the world and now she lives in Fiji. Memoir can show that anything is possible and following dreams is worthwhile as they can come true.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book which followed Nancy and her husband as they left high powered business careers and took off sailing around the world for the next 5 years. The memoir commences with an exciting passage where they are fearful that their boat has hit a reef. We are left with adrenaline pumping as we return to Sydney to take part in their final preparations and farewell. This section had double impact for me as their departure point was a place I knew well. I have not read any other sailing memoirs but I think there would be few written from a woman’s perspective, and her descriptions took me as reader into the blues of ocean and sky. Her husband Ted, was a racing sailor and neither had previously cruised. Naturally things went wrong and many things also went right. I learnt about sailing the world, about pirates, Turkey and other countries from a perspective I never thought I’d have. I was fascinated to learn that the Pacific and the Atlantic are two different heights which makes passing from one to the other precarious. She showed us vividly the environmental issues that are threatening the sea. She made me wish I was a sailor and could do the voyage myself.

I would recommend this book to everybody for the adventure and to sailors who are contemplating cruising or just dreaming. Who benefits from this review – hopefully you. I don’t know the author but in obtaining the photograph from Amazon I see that she has written another book Accidentally Istanbul which I will definitely read.

#sailing, #adventure, #seachange, #travel. It was found in the sport section of my local library.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
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16 Responses to Shooting Stars and Flying fish: Memoir Review

  1. Norah says:

    Great review, Irene. I remember hearing about the book when it first came out. Interesting that you refer to it as a “nobody memoir” as I have very vivid memories of her on television in my younger years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Her television career has not made her widely famous. Despite winning a logie in the early 60s she dropped from sight when she moved from Brisbane to Sydney. She may be a bit better known in Qld but she was certainly not celebrity status in NSW and I read something written by one of her co presenters saying that they wondered what had happened to her as she just dropped from sight. By the way I’m classifying her as a ‘nobody author’ but I might be the only person who is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Norah says:

        As I say, I remember seeing her quite a lot in my younger days. I remember discussing her and her book with Mum when it was first released. Mum always listened to book reviews on the radio, and was herself an avid reader. I can’t remember if I bought the book for Mum or not. If I did it didn’t come back to me and I haven’t read it. I think it is entirely up to you how you categorise your reading material. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Categorising is fraught with danger. I would also put Elizabeth Gilbert in the ‘nobody’ category as although she was a regular magazine contributor as she wrote for an American trucking magazine she was to the world at large basically unknown at least in Australia, in the States perhaps I am wrong but I can’t find evidence of her other than with the truckies and I doubt they were the audience she was aiming for with ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’

        Liked by 1 person

      • Norah says:

        You’re probably right. Quite a different audience! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa Reiter says:

    Thank you Irene for answering the call! Really great to be pointed in the direction of an exciting read written by a (previous) ‘nobody’. Such books always feel otherwise a little more of a risky read to me, especially now anyone can publish anything. I have read some truly dreadful ‘nobody’ cancer memoirs and however pleased you should be that they’re perhaps home and dry, the writing elucidates little else.
    I know a few people Shooting Stars and Flying Fish might make a good gift for!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sherri says:

    Great to read your first review Irene, love it. I’m trying to get back in the loop as well as I can . What a great read this sounds and it gives me great hope as a nobody. That is fascinating about the differing heights between the Pacific and Atlantic, wow. I would love to be brave enough to sail the open seas (the Norfolk Broads is enough for me lol!), but my brother and family used to sail around the Greek Islands annually, all around Turkey too. I told you he is braver than me! Pirates scare me. All in all, this is such a wonderful review that I now want to read the book. It’s exciting isn’t it about Lisa’s Memoir Review project on Twitter. I’ve only done that Mary Karr one as you know but I hope to help by spreading the word on other reviews, like this one. I’ve sent you a message and I hope you have a lovely weekend my friend. Time for a walk do you think? 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sherri. It was a good read and I think you would enjoy it. Like you I doubt that I would ever go sailing around the world and I doubt that I would normally read a memoir about it but I’m glad I did as it gave me an understanding of what people do experience and get out of doing it. Now the Greek Islands. You don’t want to introduce us to your brother? Pirates would scare me also. You should put your review of Mary Karr on Lisa’s hashtag. Thanks for your message. Will respond soon and look forward to that walk. Hope your weekend is good. ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        Haha…wouldn’t that be great? I’m still waiting for the invite myself, but it has been a few years since he did that. They have horses now 😉 Looking forward to hearing from you my friend, but only when you can, I know your plate is full at the moment. And yes, thanks for that, I did mention my review on MK’s book to Lisa, I wasn’t sure how to go about it being a bit of a twit on twitter. Think I know how now, you’ll know when you see it there with the others, hopefully! A good weekend thank you, hope you too and here’s to getting that walk in sometime soon…take care and see you soon! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • I put mine on twitter with the right hashtags but they don’t show up so I don’t know. Twitter remains a total mystery to me. Will talk and walk soon. I am now on mother visiting duties which take up a lot of walking time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        I just did the same with my Mary Karr review, I’ll get over to Twitter as soon as I can but I’m just the same as you with it. I hope your mother is alright Irene. I have two days a week taken up now, one with the course and the other with visiting my mum too as she can’t drive yet. I’m so used to her coming to me when she drives into town (she lives about 25 miles away in a small town without the main shops that we have) but of course it will be a while before she can do that. We will have to squeeze in a walk as often as we can…even if just a short one in the meantime 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • A short walk is better than none. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        Got that!! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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