The Book That Made Me: James Mayhew 17/07/19
Alone on a Wide Wide Sea
Arthur Hobhouse's story is a remarkable one. Orphaned and shipped to Australia, he first works on a cruelly-run sheep station, escapes to the contrasting kindness of another farm, then begins a boat-building apprenticeship and a lasting love of the sea. Finally, following desperate mental illness, he finds happiness with a wife and daughter before an early death.
Daughter Allie is determined to complete his story, undertaking a perilous solo sailing voyage to England in the yacht they built together, seeking Arthur's long-lost sister Kitty.
Filled with vividly beautiful descriptions of land and seascapes, this roller-coaster novel is swept along using simple, powerful language, exploring the importance of story in forming the self and also quietly mapping the changing nature of childhood through time.