Maurice and Maralyn couldn't be more different. He is as cautious and awkward as she is charismatic and forceful. It seems an unlikely romance, but it works.
Bored of 1970s suburban life, Maralyn has an idea: sell the house, build a boat, leave England - and its oil crisis, industrial strikes and inflation - forever. It is hard work, turning dreams into reality, but finally they set sail for New Zealand. Then, halfway there, their beloved boat is struck by a whale. It sinks within an hour, and the pair are cast adrift in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
On their tiny raft, over the course of days, then months, their love is put to the test. When Maurice begins to withdraw into himself, it falls upon Maralyn to keep them both alive. Their pet turtle helps, as does devising menus for fantasy dinners and dreaming of their next voyage.
Filled with danger, spirit and tenderness, this is a book about human connection and the human condition; about how we survive - not just at sea, but in life.
SOPHIE ELMHIRST is a prizewinning writer for the _Guardian Long Read_ and _The_ _Economist_'s _1843_ magazine, and a contributing editor at the _Gentlewoman_ and _Harper's Bazaar_. In 2020 she won the British Press Award for Feature Writer of the Year; she has also won a Foreign Press Award and been longlisted for the Orwell Prize. She first came across the story of Maurice and Maralyn Bailey researching a piece on our desire to escape. This is her first book. She lives in London.
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