As I start many of my book review posts now, this book was sent to me for free, for the purpose of being reviewed here. That being said, this is still 100% my honest opinion! This was my favourite book I’ve read in a while, so let’s get into it!
Charlestown to Charlestown and Beyond is the real life story of Mike Nolan, his wife viv, and their cat, departing on a sailing journey. It follows the entire process of them fixing up the boat, setting sail, their eventual ship wreck, and what came after, pretty much getting us up to date.
This isn’t usually the type of book I’d choose to read, but I’ve been interested in sailing and life on board for a few years now, so I thought I’d give it a go, and I’m glad I did! Although the books isn’t about the technical parts of sailing, there was enough that my interest was piqued, and Mike explains everything in a way that’s easy to understand, without being condescending.
I really love the way Mike writes, especially for someone like me that has a lot of family from Liverpool and Birkenhead, it’s like being told a story from an uncle or grandparent. His writing style is very down to earth, with enough slang to know he’s northern, but little enough that people without knowledge of how we speak will still understand what he’s saying.
Not only that, but Mike has lived such an interesting life, and is obviously a man of many skills. All too often it’s stories like his that get lost, so I’m really glad this one is forever memorialised in book form.
If you’re interested in sailing, or just peoples real life stories, or even in travelling, you’ll love this book. Mike is so engaging, and perfectly works a mixture of allowing his story to unfold in front of you, while also seeming to reminisce about times gone by, and people once known.
It’s definitely not one everyone will find interesting, but I certainly did. This is easily a 5/5 book for me, but that is somewhat due to the coincidence of having lived in a few of the same places as Mike, and having some goals to live a life similar to his.
P.S. There’s an awesome blog tour going on for this, so be sure to check out everyone else’s posts!