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Ten Degrees of Reckoning

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  488 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
This is the true story of a family who fulfilled their lifelong dreamonly to have it evolve into everyones worst nightmare. It takes courage, commitment, passion, and patience to embrace life fully. The Sleavin family, two adults and their two children, possessed those qualities, and realized their dream to sail around the world in their 47-foot boat, the Melinda Lee. They ...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published November 11th 2007 by UTD Library Publications
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(showing 1-30 of 807)
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Kerry Campbell
Mar 24, 2013 Kerry Campbell rated it really liked it
This is one of those stories of tragedy at sea that that is hard to read. As a coastal sailor familiar with this unforgiving part of the coast it is somewhat of a miracle that Judith Sleavin washed up just where she did.
The horror of the moment of separation with her husband and little girl I found difficult to read.

As I read this book some time ago, the details have escaped me but something of personal interest is that I know one of the Police officers that was assigned to join in the search fo
Jan 10, 2010 Faith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sad, yet remarkable, true story. One of the reasons for writing this were to make people aware of Maritime issues. The book does this without being boring to a non-sailor/cruiser. The writing is simple and clear, and without sensationalism.
Aug 06, 2011 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: survival
Brief Description: In 1993, Judith and Michael Sleavin and their two children, Ben and Annie, set out to live their dream: to sail around the world. But one night, a freighter off the coast of New Zealand altered its course by a mere ten degrees and caused catastrophic damage to the Sleavin’s sailboat. With her son Ben immediately lost, Judith, Michael and Annie struggled to survive through the night. Only Judith made it—surviving 44 hours in the water, with a back broken in several places and p ...more
Mar 31, 2009 Andy rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks
The basic story is riveting, but I did not enjoy the writing at all.

The gist: Woman loses her family in a shipwreck, but she beats amazing odds to survive.

It was written by a radiologist and boy can you tell. At times, I thought it was endearing to hear the story through a friend's voice, but ultimately we got less close to the subject because of it. She dwelled on meaningless details and blew past (or omitted) meaningful ones.

Normally I'd shrug my shoulders, but I got increasingly annoyed beca
Apr 03, 2012 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ten Degrees of Reckoning is the true story of a family's love and the will to survive. In it, the Sleavin family set out to sail around the world. While on the journey, a tragic event leaves Judith, the mother, injured and alone in the ocean, after the rest of her family perishes. The story focuses on her rescue and survival as well as the horrific circumstances surrounding the sinking of their sailing vessel, the Melinda Lee.

Overall, I liked this book. The story was compelling and interesting
Apr 24, 2009 Donna rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 01, 2011 Kathy rated it really liked it
After sailing the world for three years with their two young children, Mike & Judy Sleavin's sailboat was rammed in the middle of the night and only Judy survived. I don't think that's a spoiler because all this information is on the book jacket! Twelve years later, Judy asked her close friend Hester Rumberg to write the story. Hester is actually a radiologist in Seattle but she is also a very gifted writer. I particularly liked the way she handled the details of the loss of Mike & Ben & ...more
Jun 30, 2010 Jan rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Ten Degrees of Reckoning is the true story of one family that realized their dream of taking their sailboat on a trip around the world until, one dark and stormy night, a series of bad decisions by one freighter lead to tragic consequences.

This book is an absolute tearjerker. The story itself will leave you speechless; the lack of justice that followed the tragedy will make you angry. But I still found myself heartened by the family's journey, all the things they got to see and experiences they
Everet Seeley
Mar 08, 2013 Everet Seeley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A true and heart breaking story about the Sleavin family (Michael, Judith and their two children) who set out in 1993 to sail around the world. One night off the coast of New Zealand a freighter altered its course by ten degrees resulting in a collision with the sailboat. After nearly two days in the water Judith miraculously survived the ordeal with a broken back and paralyzed from the waist down. It took her twelve years to finally ask her best friend Hester Rumberg to write her story. Very tr ...more
Oct 06, 2015 Helen rated it really liked it
This is a powerful book about a terrible tragedy at sea. In the dark hours of the night, a freighter struck a yacht carrying a young family who were fulfilling their dream to sail around the world. The freighter was not displaying navigation lights and did not stop to search the area for survivors after the collision. Even though this occurred not far from the coast of New Zealand, there would eventually be only one survivor from the yacht. This survivor only clung to life so that the story of w ...more
Jonathan Malone
Just telling the facts, just giving the minimum details to an event does not always make for a good story. Actually is seldom makes for a good story. Case in point, Hester Rumberg’s non-fiction work, Ten Degrees of Reckoning: A True Story of Survival. In this work Rumberg retells the harrowing events of the Sleavin family, the tragedy that befell them while they were at sea, and the mother’s (Judith Sleavin) struggle to survive and reclaim a sense of life. It is a powerful and gripping story tha ...more
Taken from the dust jacket. "In 1993, Judith and Michael Sleavin and their two children set out to live their dream--to sail around the world. Almost three years later, one night off the coast of New Zealand, a freight carrier altered its course by a mere ten degrees. And changed everything."

This is a hard book to review. Hester Rumberg is the best friend of Judith and was asked to write the story. The story is heartbreaking and interesting but lacks depth, research and full picture of just what
Stuart Dickson
Jan 12, 2014 Stuart Dickson rated it really liked it
1.What was interesting about the book?
This book was interesting because it showed a story about a sailing family which collides with another ship and wrecks not only the boat but also kills the husband, and both kids. This part was very intriguing because every page I wondered what would happen next. I found it especially interesting hearing about her recovery and what she did to help others out so that the sea is a safer place. Also, the book had more meaning to just the crash and recovery that
A riveting story of courage and survival. While I agree that the writing could have been better, the story carried me over it with little or no trouble. I'm thankful the story was told and that I had a chance to read it.
Mar 30, 2011 Lennie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Sleavins were an American family sailing around the world in their boat, the Melinda Lee. After three years they were finally nearing their New Zealand destination but the night before they were to reach their final port, a South Korean shipping vessel collided with them causing their boat to sink and leaving them to fight for their lives as they clung to a dinghy. This shipping vessel failed to stop and help this family, instead they just continued on their way even though they were aware o ...more
May 27, 2016 Jan rated it liked it
It's clear from the cover that there was an accident at sea and, of the family of four, only the wife/mother survives. This is the story of their great adventure, the tragedy, and how she survives the loss of her family.

The author, a family friend, was chosen to write the book. The writing is not going to carry you away, IMHO, but the story provides one answer to how anyone could possibly survive such an unsurvivable loss.

I learned a bit about maritime law, too.
Jan 17, 2009 Lizzy rated it it was ok
Shelves: free-galley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 15, 2014 Helen rated it it was ok
Judith Sleavin is one of the most incredible people I've had the pleasure of knowing, while she lived in New Zealand. Needless to say, I'm aware of what she has been through since this tragedy and the healing that writing this story brought to her. However the book felt to me as if the writer didn't want to dwell too much on the actual incident, which I felt took something away from the story being told.
Dianne Merridith
Aug 16, 2015 Dianne Merridith rated it really liked it
The tragic story of a family who died at sea, only the wife and mother surviving to honor their memory through her love and advocacy for maritime safety regulations. Hester Rumberg tells the story in a very matter-of-fact way, for which I was grateful because, otherwise, it would have been almost too painful to bear. My heart and my best wishes go out to Judy Sleavin.
May 17, 2016 Becca rated it really liked it
This is, hands down, the most heart-wrenching and tragic story I have ever read. I lived on her every word until about 3/4 of the way through, when the story bogged down in the details of the investigation of the accident. To me, although important, it took away from the story-telling which was so compelling in the first half of the book.
Jul 30, 2015 Spieges rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to my husband by a friend who had heard that we had met Judith at a local eatery in Portland (she was co-owner). I had no idea of the ordeal she went through and my heart really goes out to her. The Book is very well written for non-nautical people and I found that I couldn't put it down. Be prepared for heartbreak though.
Oct 29, 2014 Mrs.Lady rated it it was amazing
I met Judy and her family years ago - how sad this tragedy happened - her courage and perserverence to survive so incredible. I had heard of what happened but just a few weeks ago discovered this book had been written. I lost my husband who passed very unexpectedly and many times when I was bottoming out in grief I would think about the cruising lady who lost her boat and family wondering how sher could have willed herself to survive. I wish I could tell her how many times over the years I had t ...more
Jan 12, 2011 Jill rated it really liked it
Away from home for almost 3 years, the Sleavin family had been sailing throughout the Pacific and Caribbean on a cruise of a life-time, in their boat the Melinda Lee. Mike and Judy, and their two children, Ben and Annie, were heading towards Opua in the North Island of New Zealand when tragedy struck. An unidentified freighter struck their yacht and sailed on, abandoning the Sleavins to their fate.

Ten Degrees of Reckoning is the true story of how Judy Sleavin survived the accident and rebuilt he
Linda Appelbaum
Oct 07, 2010 Linda Appelbaum rated it it was amazing
This is a harrowing, tragic story of enormous loss and sorrow. It haunted me all day long and even at night. It is well told, and even though the descriptions aren't finely tuned, somehow I saw the described events with such clarity that it was profoundly disturbing.

I am not familiar with sailing so a diagram of the boat would have been helpful to me. Having almost finished the book, I learned a lot about sailing, the laws concerning open water travel and safety, etc. What keeps annoying me it t
Val Wilkerson
Mar 24, 2010 Val Wilkerson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-books-read
I learned that no matter what happens to you, you can continue on with your life, you can survive, and you can make something good come out of something terrible.....even though it may take a long time. This is a true story of a woman who survived after a freighter rammed the sailboat she was on with her husband, daughter and son. they had been sailing for 3 years. The freighter changed its course 10 degrees and changed her life forever, and took the lives of her family. A very close friend of J ...more
Jane Burger
Jul 06, 2011 Jane Burger rated it it was ok
True story about a family of four sailing around the world. After almost 3 years at sea, and only 30 miles from their next destination, the boat was struck by a careless log freighter who after hitting them, left the scene offering no help to the sinking sailboat. The results were devastating. The story is mostly about the aftermath of the crash, told by the mom, the only survivor. It deals with both her physical and mental rehabilitation as well as her efforts in trying to seek justice for her ...more
Apr 09, 2014 Feline401 rated it really liked it
I read this book years ago and i still talk about about it. I was so absorbed in it. It had a lasting effect. My heart really goes out to the mom who is courageous, persevering and strong. I still wonder what her life is like now. I just purchased a used copy so that I can share it.
Sep 15, 2011 Courts!x rated it it was amazing
I loved this book because its about my cousins uncle and how he saved this lady after she lost her family in a ship accident. This book is such a sad tragedy and it shows you how to be positive and carry on living life. The lady owns a fancy glass shop in Whangarei. She inspiring! I decided to read this book because my cousin and Aunty said it was a good read and i wanted to get the full story. This book has a female main character from the bingo board. I didnt like how the Author tried to put h ...more
Aug 10, 2015 Alison rated it it was amazing
This is a tragic story. There is so much to learn for sailors about cruising and about the resilience of the human spirit when ones world has been crushed, literally and figuratively!
I would love to know where the Author is now and how she is.
Apr 03, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deeply moving

The Sleavins' story is devastating and compelling. The author, a long-time friend of the sailing family, relates the horror while leaving intact the dignity of a lovely and loving family.
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