Parts of Hester Rumberg's Ten Degrees of Reckoning (Putnam Books) are almost too painful to read. The nonfiction work tells the story of Judy Sleavin, her husband Mike, and their two kids, Ben and Annie. Sixteen years ago, inspired by their love of the sea and each other, the family set off on an around-the-world adventure on their sailboat. At each port they found welcoming cultures and experiences that taught their children more than they could ever learn in a classroom. Their adventures came to an abrupt end one night off the coast of New Zealand when a ship hit their boat. The sea quickly claimed the lives of Ben, Annie, and Mike, leaving Judy alone and broken both physically and mentally. But the story that Rumberg tells is about much more than the accident; it is about loss and recovery, about reinventing oneself after tragedy, and about living without regrets. (photo by Jim Allen)
Thu., May 7, 7 p.m., 2009
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