My book review of 'Maurice and Maralyn' by Sophie Elmhirst

by Sophie Elmhirst
Maurice and Maralyn
by Sophie Elmhirst

Maurice and Maralyn were very different characters, who might be considered English eccentrics, who worked beautifully together as a couple. 

Bored of 1970s suburban life, Maralyn wants an adventure and convinces Maurice that they should sell their house, build a boat and travel the world. And they do it. They set sail for New Zealand.

But, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, their boat is struck by a whale causing irreparable damage. The only thing they can do is save what they can, install themselves in their tiny dinghy and wait for rescue.

For weeks they learn how to survive, collecting rainwater, eating raw turtles, and drawing on phenomenal emotional and mental resources. 

The book is described as being 'filled with danger, spirit, and tenderness, ... about human connection and the human condition; about how we survive - not just at sea, but in life.' 

The author of this book is a journalist who drew on the diaries written by the couple as well as the coverage of their plight at the time to compile this astonishing tale which reads like a novel. It's amazing. I felt as though I was reading with my mouth open, aghast at all Maurice and Maralyn were experiencing, and overcoming, and I was sorry to reach the final page. This is a book I will keep and read again. Wonderful!  

Date of this review: December 2023
Book publication date: 29th February 2024