The Half Bird (Hardback)
  • The Half Bird (Hardback)
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The Half Bird (Hardback)

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£16.99
Hardback 224 Pages
Published: 21/03/2024
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

So evocative of the sea that you can practically taste the salty tang on each page, Smillie's inspiring memoir-cum-travelogue chronicles her thrilling voyage of self-discovery from Lands' End to the shores of Greece.

Discover the incredible story of one woman's solo journey, from Land's End to the shores of Greece, exploring the unexpected joy of solitude, self-discovery and resilience.

'We have no idea how much resilience there is inside us until we have to draw on it. We learn that we grow through adversity only as we go through it. That we crave happiness like plants leaning toward the light'

When Susan quit her job in London and set sail off the south coast of England on her beloved sailboat, Isean, she was unaware this spontaneous departure would lead to a three-year journey spanning several countries across the continent.

With only the very basics on board, resourcefulness becomes an unexpected source of joy and contentment. The highs and lows of living in such an extreme way awakens a newfound appreciation for the beauty of her surroundings, for being safe - for just being alive.

For all the physical and navigational challenges of her journey, the other side of her story reveals a more important change - an inner journey - that took place along the way.

This wasn't merely a challenge, a mid-life adventure or gap-year career break; it was much gentler than that, but much greater too.

She was seeking nothing less than an entirely different life, having left the land far behind to call the wild, unbiddable sea home.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241553169
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 346 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A beautiful, wise and open-hearted odyssey through life, loves and the sea. Susan lives many of our dreams, showing how we need nature, solitude and community – and less stuff! – to flourish and find freedom - Patrick Barkham, author of The Butterfly Isles

Susan Smillie's story is told with all the invigorating energy of a crisp wind under a cloudless sky. The way she renders the world as seen from the prow of her beloved Isean is utterly beguiling. The Half Bird is a wonderful book – and one that shows vividly and fearlessly that there are many ways for an adventurous woman to live - Charlotte Higgins, Chief culture writer, The Guardian

A lesson on how to live, how to heal, how to grow and how to fly - Gordan Buchanan, wildlife filmmaker

This book is for all nature lovers, freedom lovers and anyone who dreams of escaping the daily grind. Without a big budget or much experience, Susan makes her dream happen and takes to a life at sea. We travel with her through her solo journey, experiencing the highs and lows, the fear and loneliness as well as the joy and elation of being truly free. I would recommend it to anyone, sailor or not, who wants a life-affirming, moving and compelling read - Guy Grieve, author of Sea Legs: One Family’s Adventure on the Ocean

There is a rare subtlety in so much of this. Smillie finds a freedom, beauty, and joy in amongst the rolling waves and shifting tides of loss, illness, and grief. The Half Bird is an immensely enjoyable ocean adventure, but what emerges is a deeply inspiring story about the quiet strengths that reside within us all - Will Millard, author and BBC presenter

I didn't know a love song between a woman and her boat could transport, and transfix me. The Half Bird made my heart whole - Rhik Samadder, author of I Never Said I Loved You

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“Not just a beautiful cover!”

I thought this was a beautiful book. Susan Smillie manages to talk about grief, friendship, relationships, politics, travel, and sailing in a unique and open hearted way. Her style allows the reader to be transported... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 6
Phill - Waterstones Bookseller

“An extraordinary book”

This is a true story of courage, on land and at sea. Of how the impossible can be made possible. It tells of struggle and reward; adversity and achievement; sorrow and bliss. It almost mirrors great fictional fantasy... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

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