Boat Girl ePUB Þ Paperback

Boat Girl ePUB Þ Paperback

Boat Girl ❮Reading❯ ➷ Boat Girl ➯ Author Melanie Neale – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Boat Girl is the heart breaking memoir of growing 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 an Boat Girl is the heart breaking memoir of growing up aboard a sailboat Throughout the 's and 's Melanie's family lived aboard a 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 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.


10 thoughts on “Boat Girl

  1. Tania Tania says:

    There were lots of people and lots of places and none of them felt like home35 stars I enjoyed this coming of age story I've never thought about what it would be like growing up on a sailboat and what I got from this book is that it would be a different experience for each person Some people choose this lifestyle because it would expose them and their children to things in life and some because you could protect yourself and your children much easier from any influences that you were trying to avoid Melanie's parents dad definitely fell into the last category Although the boating bit of the book was fascinating for me the best part of the book was watching her grow up I liked how honest the author was about herself and her life I could really connect with her as a person and I walked away from Boat girl feeling like I knew her I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to read a well written book on an alternative lifestyle


  2. Austin Collins Austin Collins says:

    You would not be far off to call Boat Girl a maritime version of Are You There God? It's Me Margaret More accurately it begins as AYTGIMM and evolves into Forever another Judy Blume classic as the narrator leaves the awkwardness of puberty behind and enters the uncertainty of young adulthoodThe comparison fits not just due to the subject matter — a girl coming of age and dealing the all the usual social body image and self esteem issues — but also the tone which is straightforward conversational and matter of fact This is refreshing; sea stories have a well deserved reputation for being purple with overwrought verbiage Boat Girl is a happy exception I've read way too many sailing books that oversell the virtues and joys of life on the water Melanie Neale just tells it like it isThis autobiographical account begins in 1979 literally before the author was born as her father and pregnant mother travel to oversee the construction of their boat a Gulfstar 47 It then progresses year by year as she grows up on the waterThe family divides its time between the US and the Bahamas Neale's budding ambitions conflicts with her parents and experimentation with her emerging sexuality amid the aimlessness of the early years of adulthood will be familiar and relatable to almost everyone Friendships develop and then fade plans come together and then fall apart What makes this story crackle is the backdrop of living rootlessly aboard a sailboat wandering with the seasons and resisting the temptations of a normal life ashore Kids grow up fast on sailboats where practical skills self sufficiency and resilience in the face of adversity are necessary attributes Freedom is a kind of religion to liveaboards and conventional is a dirty wordNeale repeatedly highlights the sexist double standard women who enjoy themselves are whores; men who enjoy themselves are playful sporting or at worst rakish A man with a handful of girlfriends was dashing and jaunty and his harem was a measure of his success A woman with an eually active social life was considered tarnished and disreputable or as her friend Michelle's church elders put it worldly And despite the fact that she has her 50 Ton Master's License she is still underestimated and treated with patronizing condescension in marinas and boatyards Boat Girl also struck me as a post colonial allegory for paternalism even though I seriously doubt that is what Neale ever had in mind A recurring theme is that she clashed with her conservative father over her rebellious and high spirited behavior he calls her a slut than once and expresses concern about how her conduct will reflect upon the family image Yet he helps to pay for her undergraduate tuition as well as her first sailboat a Columbia 28 As she recalls on page 173 Perhaps the underlying message was now that you have gone to college and are bound for grad school we feel like you have finally made something of your life and so we'll give you what you've always wanted It would be hard and a little illogical to refuse such generosity but it means tolerating didactic judgmental shaming moralism that one cannot help but internalize Neale finds her tribe but then it dissolves around her as people are pulled in different directions by the obligations that come with maturity Idealistic dreams are replaced by a crush of daily responsibilities Life as they say happens Whether intended or not Boat Girl addresses a fundamental conundrum you can choose a passion career such as sailing writing etc or you can choose a lucrative professional path Unless you are lucky enough to get rich young — or to be born that way — you can either try to make money now and defer your heart's gratification until some unknown point in the future or you can throw yourself into doing what you really want to do opting for fulfillment rather than income subsisting on a shoestring and sacrificing the comfort and security that comes from a tidy bank account balance For the 99% of us who are not wealthy it's an agonizing dilemma that never really gets resolved and always leaves room for worry and regret It's a subject that the text bumps up against repeatedlyI connected with this story on a personal level for a couple of reasons Like Neale I also have a degree in Creative Writing She went to school in St Petersburg where I live now I've been to the Annapolis Sailboat Show and that scene brought back memories Having lived in Florida my entire life her description of Hurricanes Frances Jeanne and Wilma and their aftermath rang painfully true I'm sure anyone with any experience with sailing will find this book extremely accessible Those whose feet are permanently and gladly planted on dry land will still enjoy reading about her reminiscences and struggles but may be mystified by some aspects of the admittedly weird cruising lifestyleUltimately this is a book about finding your way in life about self determination about making the choices that define your identity and your destiny You don't have to be a mariner to take pleasure in following Melanie Neale on her journey


  3. C C says:

    My copy is a galley copyThis was a fairly uick easy read and enjoyable I loved the first half of the book and it is marvelous in evoking the atmosphere of the Bahamas and South Florida It felt like a vicarious vacation well except for cleaning conch shellsThis would be a great mid winter read Especially when snowed in The second half I was not so enad with It was good but darker covering her adolescence teen issues school parental conflict friendships and plans changing love and boat living as a young adult While it had an element of education and interest to it it was not uite as engaging I appreciated her observations about closure and peace with family conflict and her awkward relationship with one of her parents This also lent some insight to my behavior growing up Part of it was a feminist streak and the other part of it was the ultimate in antifeminism a deeply rooted need in me to be accepted by my dad and by other men If I could do the same things as them I would be accepted into their worldI read it and thought ohhhhyeahgood pointIt's also a bummer that her Captains license didn't evolve into something for her Hopefully her book will be successful and pay off the school loans such TechnicalitiesThere's a few formatting issues in the digital edition odd paragraph breaks and Melanie Neale tossed into odd spots A singing woman whose Adam's apple pulsed could use a reword as throat as while women do have Adam's apples that popped out at me as strange and distracted me in the moment I would have loved to see pictures scattered within the text Even in black and white She did great at bringing the boats to life but for those of us who are woefully ignorant about them it could have given a little contextI should also mention there is a version of this called Boat Kid pared down for younger readers that I think would be fantastic as it excludes her college years and adulthood and keeps it all relatively pared downEdited to add I love that the initial book comments are from people she talked about in the books Tim Murphy Professor Wakefield etc


  4. Jenny (Reading Envy) Jenny (Reading Envy) says:

    When I saw this book on NetGalley where I did get a copy of this in exchange for an honest review I was interested in it for a number of reasons Number one I've been participating in an Around the World reading challenge and it is hard to find books set in the Bahamas beyond crime novels Number two I didn't know there were kids raised on sailboats and found that concept pretty intriguingMelanie Neale spent almost all of her childhood on a sailboat with her family and this is an account of that time The chapters are very brief touching on a highlight or two from each year or each location Melanie started living on a boat at a very young age Most of her family's time is spent in the Bahamas but they also spend time in Newport various ports in Florida and North Carolina and a few other islands Weather pirates and the drug trade are mentioned in the stories she tells of what happened to her familyAs she ages in the book so do her challenges Her father is very concerned with appearances and does not handle her development into a teenager very well She also struggles to maintain relationships with friends she may only encounter 1 2 times a year or with boys who are landlocked and can only write letters that she will only see when they check in with their post office box It is an inside view of an intriguing and isolated lifestyle and had some similarities to my upbringing in the country where we'd go to town once a week in the summers It felt like a pretty honest look including details about drudgeries such as the constant diet of less perishable food and the challenge of laundry and homeschooling


  5. Lola Lola says:

    Loved this memoir you get a real sense of growing up in a sailor's lifestyle something most people only dream of but from the perspective of the kids taken along for the ride Great insight to family relationships and coming of age in a wholly unusual motif


  6. Laureen Hudson Laureen Hudson says:

    I devoured this book in two sittings the whole time with my heart in my throat I read this through the lens of being a parent of a girlchild who was born on a sailboat and has never lived on land I read this through the lens of being a family on a boat which is the weirdest mix of totally public and totally private I read this wondering what my kids would think when I write about our voyages and I read this wondering what my kids would write about those same voyages I also read this critically as a fellow editor For some reason I could not shut off that part of my brain as I usually do when I'm engaged in pleasure reading I'm absolutely in awe of the balancing act Melanie pulled off here; boat writing does not happen in a vacuum but within the context of a very small very tight community often filled with frenemies Everything you say is going to be judged by someone who was there knows someone who was there or sailed on a boat like that once and is going to tell you you got it wrong But by taking her writing right down to the grit Melanie managed to write something incontrovertible and ringing with truth It's her story sometimes almost harshly so and as such cannot be challenged except by someone who would then have to present their truth as well It's a brilliant way of going about it It takes some tremendous strength to out yourself through your growing formative challenging years It takes some serious guts to announce to the world that you have daddy issues and here are the events that cemented them It's even harder when the whole world knows who your parents are and read the book they wrote about your life In order for your truth to surface you have to first break through a vast layer of willful misconception I'm in awe of the subtexts here The thing that kept me smiling through the whole book though was the fact that although she uestioned her parents her family her place in the world her body her purpose she never once ever uestioned her rightful place as the boat girl There's an unshakeable confidence there that I found joyful and relatable Even though relationships with people can be troubling there's always the sea and that's always going to be home


  7. Keith Gouveia Keith Gouveia says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Melanie at a book signing and since I didn't grow up abroad nor was I a young girl I really had no desire to read this book However Melanie was so approachable so down to earth I had to buy her book Since I had read Beating Windward Press' other titles and highly enjoyed them I thought what the hell and cracked the spine I am so glad I did The story was highly enjoyable well written and casual and after reading it I feel as though I have a new best friend I've been to the Bahamas and originally grew up in Massachusetts so I recognized some of the destinations and locals and that gave me a connection to the author and the book I didn't expectTake this from a genre geek and pick up this book and broaden your horizons anything published by Beating Windward Press deserves to be read by everyone


  8. Susan Susan says:

    A well written book uite open and honest about her relationship with her parents her father especially I have friends and relatives who are passionate about sailing so it was interesting to me to read about someone who actually lived the life full time I found the author on Facebook and wish she would add an update to her story at the end of the book because it looks like things have changed from the way she left it


  9. Michael Dinning Michael Dinning says:

    I honestly didn't expect to read this all the way through but Melanie Neale's writing kept my interest and it'll probably be one of the memorable books I've read Anyone who's spent time in sailboats south Florida or the Bahamas will relate to her vivid descriptionsyou can almost smell the mangroves Melanie has a direct honest way of describing relationships and situations I'd love to see a seuel


  10. Courtney Courtney says:

    I really liked this book The excerpt led me to believe it would be heavily dramatic and negative which I don't like but it wasn't at all It was very good I highly recommend it to people interested in reading about alternate lifestyles or are particularly interested in boats 👍


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10 thoughts on “Boat Girl

  1. Tania Tania says:

    There were lots of people and lots of places and none of them felt like home35 stars I enjoyed this coming of age story I've never thought about what it would be like growing up on a sailboat and what I got from this book is that it would be a different experience for each person Some people choose this lifestyle because it would expose them and their children to things in life and some because you could protect yourself and your children much easier from any influences that you were trying to avoid Melanie's parents dad definitely fell into the last category Although the boating bit of the book was fascinating for me the best part of the book was watching her grow up I liked how honest the author was about herself and her life I could really connect with her as a person and I walked away from Boat girl feeling like I knew her I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to read a well written book on an alternative lifestyle

  2. Austin Collins Austin Collins says:

    You would not be far off to call Boat Girl a maritime version of Are You There God? It's Me Margaret More accurately it begins as AYTGIMM and evolves into Forever another Judy Blume classic as the narrator leaves the awkwardness of puberty behind and enters the uncertainty of young adulthoodThe comparison fits not just due to the subject matter — a girl coming of age and dealing the all the usual social body image and self esteem issues — but also the tone which is straightforward conversational and matter of fact This is refreshing; sea stories have a well deserved reputation for being purple with overwrought verbiage Boat Girl is a happy exception I've read way too many sailing books that oversell the virtues and joys of life on the water Melanie Neale just tells it like it isThis autobiographical account begins in 1979 literally before the author was born as her father and pregnant mother travel to oversee the construction of their boat a Gulfstar 47 It then progresses year by year as she grows up on the waterThe family divides its time between the US and the Bahamas Neale's budding ambitions conflicts with her parents and experimentation with her emerging sexuality amid the aimlessness of the early years of adulthood will be familiar and relatable to almost everyone Friendships develop and then fade plans come together and then fall apart What makes this story crackle is the backdrop of living rootlessly aboard a sailboat wandering with the seasons and resisting the temptations of a normal life ashore Kids grow up fast on sailboats where practical skills self sufficiency and resilience in the face of adversity are necessary attributes Freedom is a kind of religion to liveaboards and conventional is a dirty wordNeale repeatedly highlights the sexist double standard women who enjoy themselves are whores; men who enjoy themselves are playful sporting or at worst rakish A man with a handful of girlfriends was dashing and jaunty and his harem was a measure of his success A woman with an eually active social life was considered tarnished and disreputable or as her friend Michelle's church elders put it worldly And despite the fact that she has her 50 Ton Master's License she is still underestimated and treated with patronizing condescension in marinas and boatyards Boat Girl also struck me as a post colonial allegory for paternalism even though I seriously doubt that is what Neale ever had in mind A recurring theme is that she clashed with her conservative father over her rebellious and high spirited behavior he calls her a slut than once and expresses concern about how her conduct will reflect upon the family image Yet he helps to pay for her undergraduate tuition as well as her first sailboat a Columbia 28 As she recalls on page 173 Perhaps the underlying message was now that you have gone to college and are bound for grad school we feel like you have finally made something of your life and so we'll give you what you've always wanted It would be hard and a little illogical to refuse such generosity but it means tolerating didactic judgmental shaming moralism that one cannot help but internalize Neale finds her tribe but then it dissolves around her as people are pulled in different directions by the obligations that come with maturity Idealistic dreams are replaced by a crush of daily responsibilities Life as they say happens Whether intended or not Boat Girl addresses a fundamental conundrum you can choose a passion career such as sailing writing etc or you can choose a lucrative professional path Unless you are lucky enough to get rich young — or to be born that way — you can either try to make money now and defer your heart's gratification until some unknown point in the future or you can throw yourself into doing what you really want to do opting for fulfillment rather than income subsisting on a shoestring and sacrificing the comfort and security that comes from a tidy bank account balance For the 99% of us who are not wealthy it's an agonizing dilemma that never really gets resolved and always leaves room for worry and regret It's a subject that the text bumps up against repeatedlyI connected with this story on a personal level for a couple of reasons Like Neale I also have a degree in Creative Writing She went to school in St Petersburg where I live now I've been to the Annapolis Sailboat Show and that scene brought back memories Having lived in Florida my entire life her description of Hurricanes Frances Jeanne and Wilma and their aftermath rang painfully true I'm sure anyone with any experience with sailing will find this book extremely accessible Those whose feet are permanently and gladly planted on dry land will still enjoy reading about her reminiscences and struggles but may be mystified by some aspects of the admittedly weird cruising lifestyleUltimately this is a book about finding your way in life about self determination about making the choices that define your identity and your destiny You don't have to be a mariner to take pleasure in following Melanie Neale on her journey

  3. C C says:

    My copy is a galley copyThis was a fairly uick easy read and enjoyable I loved the first half of the book and it is marvelous in evoking the atmosphere of the Bahamas and South Florida It felt like a vicarious vacation well except for cleaning conch shellsThis would be a great mid winter read Especially when snowed in The second half I was not so enad with It was good but darker covering her adolescence teen issues school parental conflict friendships and plans changing love and boat living as a young adult While it had an element of education and interest to it it was not uite as engaging I appreciated her observations about closure and peace with family conflict and her awkward relationship with one of her parents This also lent some insight to my behavior growing up Part of it was a feminist streak and the other part of it was the ultimate in antifeminism a deeply rooted need in me to be accepted by my dad and by other men If I could do the same things as them I would be accepted into their worldI read it and thought ohhhhyeahgood pointIt's also a bummer that her Captains license didn't evolve into something for her Hopefully her book will be successful and pay off the school loans such TechnicalitiesThere's a few formatting issues in the digital edition odd paragraph breaks and Melanie Neale tossed into odd spots A singing woman whose Adam's apple pulsed could use a reword as throat as while women do have Adam's apples that popped out at me as strange and distracted me in the moment I would have loved to see pictures scattered within the text Even in black and white She did great at bringing the boats to life but for those of us who are woefully ignorant about them it could have given a little contextI should also mention there is a version of this called Boat Kid pared down for younger readers that I think would be fantastic as it excludes her college years and adulthood and keeps it all relatively pared downEdited to add I love that the initial book comments are from people she talked about in the books Tim Murphy Professor Wakefield etc

  4. Jenny (Reading Envy) Jenny (Reading Envy) says:

    When I saw this book on NetGalley where I did get a copy of this in exchange for an honest review I was interested in it for a number of reasons Number one I've been participating in an Around the World reading challenge and it is hard to find books set in the Bahamas beyond crime novels Number two I didn't know there were kids raised on sailboats and found that concept pretty intriguingMelanie Neale spent almost all of her childhood on a sailboat with her family and this is an account of that time The chapters are very brief touching on a highlight or two from each year or each location Melanie started living on a boat at a very young age Most of her family's time is spent in the Bahamas but they also spend time in Newport various ports in Florida and North Carolina and a few other islands Weather pirates and the drug trade are mentioned in the stories she tells of what happened to her familyAs she ages in the book so do her challenges Her father is very concerned with appearances and does not handle her development into a teenager very well She also struggles to maintain relationships with friends she may only encounter 1 2 times a year or with boys who are landlocked and can only write letters that she will only see when they check in with their post office box It is an inside view of an intriguing and isolated lifestyle and had some similarities to my upbringing in the country where we'd go to town once a week in the summers It felt like a pretty honest look including details about drudgeries such as the constant diet of less perishable food and the challenge of laundry and homeschooling

  5. Lola Lola says:

    Loved this memoir you get a real sense of growing up in a sailor's lifestyle something most people only dream of but from the perspective of the kids taken along for the ride Great insight to family relationships and coming of age in a wholly unusual motif

  6. Laureen Hudson Laureen Hudson says:

    I devoured this book in two sittings the whole time with my heart in my throat I read this through the lens of being a parent of a girlchild who was born on a sailboat and has never lived on land I read this through the lens of being a family on a boat which is the weirdest mix of totally public and totally private I read this wondering what my kids would think when I write about our voyages and I read this wondering what my kids would write about those same voyages I also read this critically as a fellow editor For some reason I could not shut off that part of my brain as I usually do when I'm engaged in pleasure reading I'm absolutely in awe of the balancing act Melanie pulled off here; boat writing does not happen in a vacuum but within the context of a very small very tight community often filled with frenemies Everything you say is going to be judged by someone who was there knows someone who was there or sailed on a boat like that once and is going to tell you you got it wrong But by taking her writing right down to the grit Melanie managed to write something incontrovertible and ringing with truth It's her story sometimes almost harshly so and as such cannot be challenged except by someone who would then have to present their truth as well It's a brilliant way of going about it It takes some tremendous strength to out yourself through your growing formative challenging years It takes some serious guts to announce to the world that you have daddy issues and here are the events that cemented them It's even harder when the whole world knows who your parents are and read the book they wrote about your life In order for your truth to surface you have to first break through a vast layer of willful misconception I'm in awe of the subtexts here The thing that kept me smiling through the whole book though was the fact that although she uestioned her parents her family her place in the world her body her purpose she never once ever uestioned her rightful place as the boat girl There's an unshakeable confidence there that I found joyful and relatable Even though relationships with people can be troubling there's always the sea and that's always going to be home

  7. Keith Gouveia Keith Gouveia says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Melanie at a book signing and since I didn't grow up abroad nor was I a young girl I really had no desire to read this book However Melanie was so approachable so down to earth I had to buy her book Since I had read Beating Windward Press' other titles and highly enjoyed them I thought what the hell and cracked the spine I am so glad I did The story was highly enjoyable well written and casual and after reading it I feel as though I have a new best friend I've been to the Bahamas and originally grew up in Massachusetts so I recognized some of the destinations and locals and that gave me a connection to the author and the book I didn't expectTake this from a genre geek and pick up this book and broaden your horizons anything published by Beating Windward Press deserves to be read by everyone

  8. Susan Susan says:

    A well written book uite open and honest about her relationship with her parents her father especially I have friends and relatives who are passionate about sailing so it was interesting to me to read about someone who actually lived the life full time I found the author on Facebook and wish she would add an update to her story at the end of the book because it looks like things have changed from the way she left it

  9. Michael Dinning Michael Dinning says:

    I honestly didn't expect to read this all the way through but Melanie Neale's writing kept my interest and it'll probably be one of the memorable books I've read Anyone who's spent time in sailboats south Florida or the Bahamas will relate to her vivid descriptionsyou can almost smell the mangroves Melanie has a direct honest way of describing relationships and situations I'd love to see a seuel

  10. Courtney Courtney says:

    I really liked this book The excerpt led me to believe it would be heavily dramatic and negative which I don't like but it wasn't at all It was very good I highly recommend it to people interested in reading about alternate lifestyles or are particularly interested in boats 👍

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