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on Jan. 13, 2012 :
This was a truly enjoyable read from beginning to end. I have enjoyed sailing most of my life but from a cruisers perspective. Only recently "attempting" to race in smaller craft. Having done so before reading this story, however, I was able to really identify with the characters during their training and trails as well as with their relationship and how it unfolded. Highly recommend. Carol Cronin has produced a wonderful story for sailors and non-sailors alike.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Dec. 31, 2011 :
This book is exciting from the starting gun. The characters leap off the screen (I read it on Kindle) and as a lifelong sailor, I wanted to reach out and help in some way when things were not going their way. At first, mystified by the format of first person action and thought from several different characters, it decided it is a wonderful way to understand what each character is thinking. That frustrated me as I wanted to kick Spencer and Casey in the tail to get them to get them to open up. Casey comes across with a "say what you mean, and mean what you say" attitude. But once inside her head, it was clear that she was holding something back. Spencer held everything back and needed his friends to push him to be what he could be.
Carol Cronin has done a great job of depicting complex sailing and rigging issues in terms that every reader can understand and appreciate for the significant impact that they have on performance. She also points out that it is not all the boat, mast or sails. If the sailors heads are not in the game, they will not be performing at top level. There is wonderful drive and perseverance in the story together with support and guidance from those who had gone before. These are real life lessons that we must all respect and admire. The thread of competition and respect moving to friendship and partnership and then to love is a wonderful part of the book. It is very lifelike and I wanted Spencer and Casey to recognize and accept it sooner. When they did, they still held off for fear of diverting attention from performance. Lastly, Ms. Cronin brings out the less scrupulous nature of some in a highly competitive world. It is sad that this must be part of the game, but with in a work of fiction, it is nice to see that good triumphs over evil and those who do not play well by the rules are eventually found out.
As I read, I kept an eye on how many pages were left, for I did not want the story to end. Maybe we'll be blessed with a sequel and we can learn what happens next to these characters who now seem like friends.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on July 15, 2011 :
I downloaded this the very first weekend it came out and read it from start to finish. I have no experience with the world of competitive sailing and yet I felt like I was walking right beside them through their quest. Casey and Spencer are remarkably human and their personalities creep under your skin until you feel like you have known them forever. I really enjoyed reading this and joining them on their Olympic dream…..and a good old-fashioned romance didn’t hurt!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)