Once Upon a Gypsy Moon (Book) Review
Not so much?
While Michael Hurley’s journey was not, as I expected, a continuous quest on the sea, his use of his sailing journeys as a tool for introspection provide an interesting take on how to look at life.
He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea. – George Herbert
Once Upon a Gypsy Moon is author Michael Hurley’s memoir of a difficult time in his life, but also a time of redemption and renewal. After the collapse of his twenty-five year marriage, his expulsion from his law practice, and a time of financial difficulty and depression, things were looking pretty down for Hurley’s future. His kids, mostly grown and somewhat distant due to the divorce, no longer need his attention on a daily basis. His wife, and his relationship with her, is gone – and a string of hastily rushed into relationships have failed to give him someone to share his life with. With work gone sour as well, there seems little to look forward to. And so, Michael looks back.
Sailing has always been a passion for Michael, and his dreams always saw him setting sail across the ocean. Yet, life has a way of getting in the way of such dreams. Though he often daydreamed about throwing off life’s daily responsibilities to set off for the horizon, the demands of a burgeoning career and a young family made the prospect little more than a pipe dream. As catastrophic as the divorce and subsequent collapse of both his family and his career were, they provided the perfect excuse to attempt his long held dream. After all, what did he have to lose? And so begins a trip that would span the course of two years, bringing confidence and love into his life once more.
Once Upon a Gypsy Moon is, above all, a memoir. While it contains its fair share of adventure on the high seas, it contains a whole lot more of introspection and soul searching. When one is out in the open sea, accompanied by little more than his boat and his thoughts, those thoughts take on a clarity that is often overlooked in our busy lives. From his thoughts on faith, to his role in the failure of his marriage, to his search for someone to share his life with, Michael Hurley spends his time on the water alternating between plotting his course literally and plotting it figuratively, and he spares few details along the way.
Readers looking for a frank look into the life of a man at a great turning point in his life will enjoy the candor present throughout Once Upon a Gypsy Moon. While the book is liberally spread with sailing terms, it isn’t terribly hard to understand for landlubbers, and it offers a fresh perspective into the paths our lives take versus the ones we envision for ourselves. While Michael Hurley’s journey was not, as I expected, a continuous quest on the sea, his use of his sailing journeys as a tool for introspection provide an interesting take on how to look at life.