The author recounts her 1975 sail across the Indian Ocean, a turning point in her strange marriage, in this second installment of her memoir series.
In 1975, Joyce was in California, ready to write about how she and her husband, Charles, had just been eyewitnesses to the Cyprus coup/war. Then they received a letter from Dylan, a Cyprus acquaintance. Dylan, of British descent, and Mia, his Israeli girlfriend, were picking up a yacht for a Swedish millionaire in Taiwan and wondered whether their American friends would like to crew part of the way, from Sri Lanka to the Seychelles. To Joyce’s surprise, Charles, enigmatic about his money and career, jumped at the offer. Joyce soon realized that the situation was quite odd. The other couple were often tense, yet also displayed a passion that Joyce (who had a history of miscarriages) and hashish-smoking Charles lacked. The group set sail without charts and had many perilous moments during an approximately monthlong voyage in monsoon season. Joyce read books during the voyage and mused upon topics including reincarnation. Mia hinted that Charles was a CIA agent, which Joyce already suspected. The yacht eventually blew off course to Diego Garcia, a remote British/American military outpost. Charles and Dylan fell out about this time, and Joyce and Charles ended their journey soon after in the Seychelles. Back in the United States, Joyce had visions of Charles with other women, leading to her leaving the marriage. Joyce (The Lullaby Illusion, 2013) apparently had some amazing experiences, with this latest narrative being the second installment of her world adventures. While her situation regarding Charles (who she further indicates was a CIA operative in an epilogue) has dramatic potential, it is surprisingly underdeveloped. Joyce spends too much time on banal descriptions of meals and sightseeing, particularly during the couple’s stopover in India, and too little on what Charles was up to. The account also fails to clarify the activities of Mia’s brother, who was also onboard. While Joyce offers some lovely moments, such as when dolphins swim up to the yacht, her New-Age-type musings make her seem dreamy, indeed rather clueless, given her sinking marriage.
An intriguing, if oddly drifting, travel/marital drama.