29 August 2010

Somewhere Down a Crazy River

by Robyn Catchlove

Pan Macmillan. Adult Non-Fiction, Autobiographical, Australian. Paperback rrp $34.99

Reviewed by Barbara  Brown

While reading Robyn Catchlove’s autobiographical Somewhere Down a Crazy River I found myself looking back through my own life with a few regrets. What a fantastic journey Robyn has had. A women in the late 60’s, early 70’s travelling around the Top End of Australia in a fishing boat with her man. Some might call her mad, others brave, but the free spirited “anything can happen” approach of her life is something I envied.

Robyn was born, raised and settled into married life in Adelaide. But the white picket fence and two and a half children lifestyle were not what she wanted. So in her early twenties, Robyn Catchlove went on an adventure, leaving her husband and marriage behind.

When she reached Cairns, fate found her a soul mate, Les Coles, and together they set about building a boat. Not just a fishing boat, but a boat made with their love, wishes and dreams. When the Jean King was launched into the ocean, Robyn and Les’ lives as professional fishermen begin.

What is most inspiring about Robyn’s eight years surviving in a very male dominated world, is her calm acceptance of whatever happens. One minute they are on top of the world and the next they are floating adrift in the oceans of the Cape York Peninsula. There is beauty everywhere Robyn looks and even in life threatening situations, she can still see what makes Australia so wonderful.

Through Robyn’s wonderful and eloquent writing the colours, people and landscape of the Top End are captured so brilliantly that you would swear you have just seen a snapshot of the place.

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