Alastair Humphreys is a much-celebrated adventurer of modern times - a man who has biked around the world, invented the ‘Microadventure’ and of course rowed solo across the Atlantic. He has also written extensively, and in The Girl Who Rowed the Ocean has perhaps penned his most inspirational work yet.
The central character, Lucy, is a young girl with all the characteristics we want our daughters to have - independent, challenging and ambitious. Lucy is an adventurer at heart who simply knows that there is something out there waiting for her, that there are things she needs to move on from and things she needs to explore. Adventure is life for both Lucy and Alastair. When reading Lucy’s adventures at sea it is impossible not to recognise that they have an authenticism which comes from the author’s own experiences in a rowing boat. Whether that be a sunset, a huge wave, a sore bottom or a humpback whale, Lucy’s descriptions ring true, and by putting a fictional girl into that environment it allows us to see how vulnerable Humphreys must also have felt in reality.
On another level, the book has a strong educational message, as between episodes on the waves we can read the homework of Lucy’s friends back at school as they follow her progress and do their own research on everything from how tides work to plastic pollution. Anyone reading The Girl Who Rowed the Ocean can only be inspired to care for this planet and make adventure a part of their own story.