The following review appeared in the Argyllshire Advertiser 2 Dec 2016
A dream realised – and beautifully written
- Argyllshire Advertiser
- 2 Dec 2016
- Shemaron: A Beautiful Endeavour By Fiona Malkin
- ISBN 13-9781631771507, Published by Mascot Books, 01/02/2015. Memoir, UK
THE COURSE of true love never did run smooth.
Shakespeare could have penned those lines to describe the relationship between former ring net fishing boat the Shemaron and Newcastle couple Chris and Fiona Malkin.
Make no mistake; this is a love story – and a tempestuous one at that.
For Fiona, the book’s author, it began slowly. So slowly that it was less love and more of a mild dislike.The seafaring life was not for her. With a successful business and two grown-up children, she thought her life was fairly settled. The dream of owning a fishing boat was her husband’s alone.
Chris fell head over heels as a boy watching the boats sail in and out of Campbeltown harbour. When the opportunity came along to buy their own vessel – a neglected 55-foot former ring net fishing boat named Shemaron – Fiona was unprepared for the impact it would have on their lives. Shemaron: A Beautiful Endeavour tells of the characters and places the Malkins encountered as they went through the ups and downs of bringing the old boat back to life.
Beautifully written in evocative prose, the book takes the reader on a voyage through turbulent waters and calm seas in such a way that we feel the salt air, smell fresh varnish – and experience mild sea sickness as they round the Mull of Kintyre.
The men who once stalked our coastal waters searching for herring on these boats are not forgotten. Their exploits are remembered, and that is, at the end of it all, what the boat represents.
Fiona eventually fell madly in love with Shemaron, a boat with personality; the two reaching a level of mutual respect and acceptance Fiona would not have thought possible at the journey’s beginning.
This is a fascinating book, affectionately recalling, warts-and-all, a memorable and unexpected voyage through waters never before explored by the author.The ring net fishing boats may now have passed into history, but something of the tradition remains through boats such as the Shemaron.
Fiona’s journey and that of the Shemaron continues.
This is an ideal Christmas present for anyone with salt in their veins or memories of herring and the ring netters. Shemaron: A Beautiful Endeavour is published by Mascot Books and is available from local bookshops.