Saturday, November 16, 2013

Guest Author: Katrina Day

‘Blue Boat on the Beach’ is just a story told to the readers. I love getting inside people’s behaviour, character and see what drew a person into doing something. This  story is telling us about the life of a woman from her early days to her womanhood. It draws the path of her development. She, like the other characters in the book, fights for her rights to be a full member of society. This is a story of women’s rights in general. Annie, Celia, Vanessa are different women but they all have the same thing in common; at some stage life has tried to halt them and they are striving to have a loving partner, to have a job where they are appreciated and not harassed.

From her first kiss and falling in love, Annie ended up completely lost. Being too young, she was utterly disorientated in how to flirt with a man, how to get the reins of the game and of course, it all ended up in disaster. Annie’s beloved married someone else and she ended up trying to commit suicide. She survived and went through the anguish to explain what happened to her friends and family. After this, she decided to prove to herself and to him that she could achieve the same, in other words to leave the country and have the freedom of going anywhere she wanted; as she thought that the man who never cared about her had the same freedom. She felt she had less rights than him, thus she decided to change the route of her life completely and marry another man she did not love, just to show to her love that she could leave the country and be ‘worthy’.  Contrary to what she expected, she did not achieve much, she ended up trapped in a loveless marriage with a man who was used to the environment where the man ruled the roost and ordered women about. She would not put up with that and broke away.

Annie ended up in an unknown country without any rights or money and she had to survive or die. There she met other women who also had the same struggle on their hands, although this was their home country. 

The stories I have described are stories of people I have met and I knew, however I have changed the names, amalgamated characters, split them etc to suit the creative purpose of a novel. Altogether, I wanted to describe a plight of women in a Central American country to be taken seriously. The fact that they have such an ‘unprotected’ environment to live and work in unleashes the best traits and the richness of their inner self, their strength of character. Annie is the one who won’t give up and her life takes her elsewhere and she, again, ends up on the wrong side of the fence and with the fight for survival on her hands. She falls, gets up and something keeps her going. This is her quest for freedom as well as love. Will she find both? She, indeed, meets a man worthy of her affection who marries her and she starts leading a relatively settled life. However, her past haunts her and never leaves her in peace. All this gets to the point where this even drives the man who loves her so dearly, further away from her. Has Annie learnt anything from all her past experiences? Does she know how to appreciate true feelings? Or is it fate that holds the final say and sits in the driver’s seat?

The novel asks so many questions, unleashes so many issues. It spreads half way across the globe. The book is also about general human rights. ‘One shouts of the equality but some are more equal than others’.

Get into a fascinating adventure, life developing across both sides of the world, experience a love story that makes you think ...

Blue Boat on the Beach

Author: Katrina Day
Publisher: Olympia Publishers
Pages: 368
Amazon Link

About the book:

Escape from Soviet Georgia was possible for young ladies in only one way before late 1990s: marriage. But what kind of marriage? What kind of chance is Annie prepared to take if the man of her dreams is not available? Can she pay the price of things going wrong? Must she grin and bear Soviet rule? Or does she love her freedom more? Later, trapped in the role of domestic drudge in the patriarchal society of Costa Rica, can she make her peace with this new life or must she find a new one again? Are freedom and happiness sweeter when you've paid a high price for them, or do they both end in bitterness? In Blue Boat on the Beach Katrina Day gives readers the ground truth of the immigrant experience, helping us to understand it deeper. Blue Boat on the Beach is based on her experiences and observations of the people she met when she first travelled to Central America and Canada. Her move to Costa Rica made a lasting impression, even though at the time she was not aware of this. Although she constructed her book based on fictional characters there is a true likeness with regards to her surroundings then. As the author sketched her impressions, they had all the traits of being a true love story, which this novel, effectively, is. However, there are so many other related issues flowing side by side that Blue Boat on the Beach is more than just a love story. The book follows its main character from the early days to the complications in her married life. The depth of the story relates to women's issues and human rights. Katrina Day has been working and living in Berkshire for some time. Despite the fact that she has had to juggle several parts of her life she managed to 'snatch' time to devote her efforts to writing.


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