One of the things I like best about the internet is the opportunity it offers on a regular basis to connect with people you might otherwise never have met.
One such connection that occurred six years ago was with writer Torre DeRoche.
SIX YEARS AGO? How can that possibly be, I asked myself when I looked at the date on my first post about her. You can read it right here … and I hope you take the time to do so. IMHO, Torre is an unconventional young woman and a talented writer, with a perceptive and unique literary voice. I also see her as sensitive, with strong values, and a wicked sense of humour. Full disclosure, she does swear.
Here’s how she describes herself: “I live in Melbourne, Australia, but hold two passports, because I was born to American parents. I’ve always felt conflicted about whether I’m a bohemian Californian flower child or someone who gets intimate with dangerous wildlife and uses too many swear words. I settled somewhere in the middle.”
It absolutely boggles my mind the way time flies! But, it does … and that’s a fact … so opportunities should not be missed. This is one.
In October 2011, Torre had recently published her first book. The title and cover were different and the novel was published again in 2013 as Love With a Chance of Drowning.
I read a review of the memoir and knew I wanted to read the complete story of Torre crossing the Pacific on her boyfriend’s 32-foot sailboat, in spite of her debilitating fear of water. A Kirkus review said: “”A funny, irresistibly offbeat tale about the risks and rewards of living, and loving, with an open heart.” I loved the book.
Finding my way to Torre’s blog, I immediately wanted to discover more about this engaging young woman who could bring a reader to tears of laughter and sorrow in the same sentence.
The first post of hers that I found, was a poignant recounting of how excited she was with the success of her book … only to discover that her beloved father had just received a devastating cancer diagnosis. The manner in which she described the clash of emotions within her, touched me to the core. I wrote to her about loss and grief and life, sharing my experience of being widowed when I was 43 with two young sons. We then exchanged some personal emails. After a while, life moved on with me writing and Torre living a life of adventure with her boyfriend and her father responding to treatment.
I followed along on her blog until at one point she seemed to disappear. From time to time I would catch sight of an Instagram posting and be assured she was still around. What I gathered was that she was not writing, but walking … and worrying.
Now Torre and I have reconnected and I know the whole story. So will you. It’s all documented in DeRoche’s new memoir, The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World: Love, Loss, and Other Catastrophes–through Italy, India, and Beyond.
The release date is September 5th ~ two more days! You can pre-order here.
Sadly, Torre’s father died and around the same time her 9-year love affair also ended. Not surprisingly, she was devastated and consumed by grief. Wracked with fear, doubt and anxiety, on a whim she set off to confront the darkness and discover a new light … if indeed there was one. Along the way, she met up with unconventional pilgrim, Masha, a woman who was pursuing her dream to walk the world.
Together they walked through parts of Italy and India, talking, laughing, eating, and drinking as a powerful friendship evolved. Through it all, de Roche searches in her inimitable way for answers to her admitted neuroses and interweaves researched facts and thoughts to help support her quest for meaning in her life.
Author Janice MacLeod describes this book as, “”A moving account of conquering fears while walking a pilgrim’s path. Also funny as f@#k.”
I’m glad to see Torre is writing again. She makes me laugh out loud … and ponder “stuff”. On her website, The Fearful Adventurer, she promises new ventures. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Her blog has been profiled in NatGeo and was one of Viator’s Top Travel Blogs of 2015. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Guardian Travel and alongside Cheryl Strayed, Dave Eggers and Sloan Crosley in the Lonely Planet travel writing anthology, An Innocent Abroad.
Connect with Torre on Facebook here. All other social media links are on her website.
Are you a worrier? Have you ever taken a pilgrimage of one sort or another to try and find answers to your questions about life? Curious minds would love to hear about it, so leave a comment.
Torre will be offering a giveaway or two in my next (September) newsletter.