Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Book Review: 'Good Morning Diego Garcia' by Susan Joyce
Los Angeles native Susan Joyce has written a second travel memoir based on her experiences and observations and ideas from her extensive travels throughout the globe. She lived in many places – including the Middle East and Europe and has worked as a secretary, a freelance writer, a teacher of computer classes and has written songs and become an artist. Add to this her avocation of writing a very successful series of children’s books and now adult novels and the spectrum of her talent seems to cover a broad range.
She has begun writing her Journey series – the first being THE LULLABY ILLUSION – A JOURNEY OF AWAKENING that won prizes for its unique coverage of the politics of Europe, the United States, and Israel. Now she offers her second ‘Journey’ – a fascinating view of crossing the Indian Ocean in monsoon season.
For those scratching their heads about the title, Diego Garcia is an atoll located south of the equator in the central Indian Ocean. Diego Garcia is the largest of the 60 small islands comprising the Chagos Archipelago. Now with tidbit of memory jogging, Susan opens her book in Ojai, California in 1975 and her synopsis condenses the pleasures of this book well: ‘You’re young, living comfortably in southern California. You’re financially secure, though you don’t know why or how. Your husband simply ignores you when you ask too many questions. He’s hoping for another job overseas, doing something. You’re not sure what, but you suspect it’s not what he says. Your marriage is shaky. You survived a war in Cyprus together, and lost everything. Now you’re basically biding time. A letter arrives from friends you knew in Cyprus. They’re sailing a new yacht from Taiwan to Europe for a Swedish millionaire. You’re invited to join them in Sri Lanka, as crew. Neither of you knows boats, but you’ll learn — it will be the trip of a lifetime, cruising the Indian Ocean in a pleasure yacht! And, it turns out, in monsoon season. With no charts. And an emotionally unstable crew mate. What could possibly go wrong?’ Jump on board and find out!
An with that invitation we are off on a memorable journey that is at once an adventure, a travel memoir, a story of a marriage, and it is all true. Her writing style involves the reader from the first page on and the privilege of reading such an adventure from a woman’s point of view is richly rewarding. Remember the old film ‘Mrs. Mike’? That is the flavor and the pleasure of accompanying Susan on this ‘discovery journey’. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, March 16
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