By Tony Orman

Being brought up on the ocean waves

This is an astonishing story of a child who with her parents set sail from England in 1976 on the schooner Wavewalker in supposedly a three year voyage but ended up being a decade long. Author Suzanne Heywood’s father had an ambition to sail around the world in 18th century voyager James Cook’s path. 

Consequently Suzanne Heywood, as a 7 year old at the start of the ambitious voyage, became virtually trapped at sea on a boat, surviving violent storms, shipwrecks, reefs, extreme isolation, family tensions and deprived of a formal education. It’s a gripping story of an extraordinary childhood, of family conflict, adventure and determination by the author against all odds.

From correspondence to a Cambridge doctorate
Author Suzanne Heywood somehow managed to teach herself by correspondence and afterwards won a place to study at university.  “Wavewalker” tells this story and is both an adventure story and a coming-of-age story in a world that might seem idyllic, but in reality was hugely challenging.

This book is an absorbing story of a very brave child in a family that seems not very caring of her. But the youngster won through.

After her PhD at Cambridge University, the author joined McKinsey and Company where she became a senior partner. She is now a managing director of Exor and chair of CNH Industrial. Suzanne Heywood married civil servant the late Jeremy Heywood in 1997 and they had three children.

A highly recommended book.

Published by William Collins. RRP $37.99.