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Reviewed by Ryan Jordan for Readers' Favorite
Fourteen: A Daughter's Memoir of Adventure, Sailing, and Survival by Leslie Johansen Nack is a deeply emotional and moving story about the coming of age of our narrator and author who had to deal with the divorce of her parents, the abuse by her father, and being forced to grow up entirely too soon to protect herself and see the grittier side of the world. It is well told and has an approachable and easy-going narrative style that is very compelling, and I found the story easy to sink into and enjoy. It was almost like reading pure fiction, and occasionally I had to stop and remind myself that this is a non-fiction account of the author's life and the obstacles she had to overcome.
There are some moments that were difficult to read past, but I found myself rooting for the author to have everything work out in her favor. There were scenes, like when her mother came to visit the boat and her dad became aggressive about her complaints about accommodation, that are very well-written and truly bring the characters to life. This is an enticing memoir, and Leslie is writing another story about her family, a sort of de facto sequel that is sure to be just as enjoyable, so I look forward to reading more by her. Fourteen: A Daughter's Memoir of Adventure, Sailing, and Survival by Leslie Johansen Nack is an excellent memoir about the life and trials of a young woman struggling to overcome many obstacles that children aren't usually expected to face. Great memoir! I really enjoyed it.