Just finished another great book - this time by Clare Francis. (This was in a two-books-in-one format. I am just reviewing the first book, Come Hell or High Water, here.)
Who is Clare Francis? She studied at the Royal Ballet School, graduated in Economics from University College London, worked in marketing, excelled at offshore yacht racing, was the first woman skipper in the Whitbread, became a BBC presenter and then... oh yeah, morphed to an international bestselling thriller writer. Not bad. I am an instant and HUGE fan.
I was powering through Francis' book on the subway when I was approached by devoted fans asking, 'Is that a book by Clare Francis??' Despite the book being written more than thirty years ago, she still clearly remains high and visible in the British public's consciousness.
Topics Covered: Clare describes racing her boat Gulliver G in the 1973 Observer Royal Western Single-handed Transatlantic Yacht Race when she was 28 years old. She covers preparation, refit, funding and the race itself.
The Best Part: She's a great writer. Smooth. It's not just a record of events. Although the events are riveting in their own right. Francis sets up scenes and keeps the tension high throughout her tale - even though you might have known the ultimate race results (her result was pretty damn good actually) before you begin reading. I read it straight through. Brilliant.
Wishes: Okay. All right... I wish that this book were longer. Or that it had a sequel. Hey, wait! It does have a sequel! It's called Come Wind or Weather. I'll be reading that next.
Conclusion: I was mesmerised. I'll read any book Clare Francis has written.
She only wrote three books about her sailing. Then post- ballerina-ing, marketing, dominating the yachting scene and bbc presenting, she began writing psycho-thrillers that debuted on the NY Times Bestseller list right out of the gate. Is there anything she can't do??
I also just bought Wolf Winter, set in Norway. I'm looking forward to some delightful evenings...