Monday, January 24, 2011
Book Review: Right Now is Perfect
When Carol Anita Ryan sets sail for the South Pacific, she expects adventure, romance and memories to last a lifetime. In Right Now is Perfect, Ryan vividly chronicles her life at sea with refreshing candor.
Setting sail with the one you love is special and unique. Carol and Bill have known one another for some time. Carol, a computer analyst, and Bill, an archaeologist, but mostly a free-spirit, have travel and adventure in common. They’ve shared dreams and goals and are ready to have an adventure of a lifetime together. Along with Bill’s sister and her husband, they embark on a journey to the South Pacific on a 36-foot sailboat, the Velela.
The joys of sailing are abundant and Ryan describes them with delight and clarity: “...shower of shooting stars...a festival of dancing dolphin...a day-glow of bioluminescence....” She clearly embraces all the beauty the sea offers. The story also shows the downside of living and sailing in cramped quarters and enduring interpersonal and sibling rivalries and resentments. There’s the drudgery of cooking on a rocking, pitching vessel and handling sails in rough seas. It’s tough being a good sport when your bed is wet from salty sea spray and you’re suffering from lack of sleep. Life at sea is a contradiction of paradise tempered with human and environmental elements. Finances are a concern every time you reach a landfall. Only the wind is free.
Ryan does a remarkable job of weaving South Pacific history with their explorations at landfalls. Colorful people, both native and fellow yachtsmen, become an important part of their journey.
Romantically, Carol and Bill are often led by different conceptions. At times Carol feels alone and at odds with their relationship. Bill often feels restrained by the desire to follow his own dreams. At times he’s oblivious to Carol’s needs.
Life after being at sea isn’t always smooth sailing, either, especially with the sting of betrayal to both heart and body. Ryan’s honest appraisal of her situation is unflinching and poignant.
Carol Anita Ryan’s bitter-sweet memoir is a fascinating read and shows how inner-strength and courage can change the course of one’s life. For more information about Right Now is Perfect, visit the author’s website, www.rightnowisperfect.com.