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Red Sky in Mourning: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Survival at Sea
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Red Sky in Mourning: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Survival at Sea

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  2,888 ratings  ·  353 reviews
New available in paperback, a true-life adventure story with everything: page-turning suspense, remarkable acts of courage, wrenching despair, and a triumphant, life-affirming ending.

Red Sky in Mourning is the story of Tami Oldham Ashcraft's 41-day journey to safety, which she survived through fortitude and sheer strength of character. Interspersed with flashbacks to her
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 16th 2003 by Hachette Books (first published October 1st 1998)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  2,888 ratings  ·  353 reviews

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Aug 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about my husband's family's boat. Before they owned Hazana it belonged to an English couple. The couple hired two young sailors in Tahiti to sail Hazana to California for them. During the trip the young couple got caught in Hurricane Raymond. This book follows their story. It is an amazing story of love and survival. I am glad to have an inside look at the history of Hazana.
What a life! Tami Oldham and fiancé Richard Sharp lived their dream....both free spirits....both young and adventurous....doing what they loved best....spending time together and sailing the pacific....until disaster hits with a vengeance.

Two weeks into their last voyage together....Tahiti to San Diego, they met up with catastrophic hurricane Raymond, and ADRIFT is Tami's emotional story of loss and survival.

41 days at sea alone in a nearly demolished boat with little hope for rescue, a shocked

♥ Marlene♥
Well this was a very quick read. Finished it in a day or 2. This book was on my wish list for quite a long time and finally bought it.

I like to read survival stories and there are very good ones out there like Adrift by Steve Callahan and Jungle by Joshi Ginsberg (I hope I wrote the correct names) They are excellent.

First of all this is about survival on the sea but it is indeed more an emotional story cause this lady had enough supplies to last her for a long time.

I am not going to say what
Closer to 2.5 stars. I saw the movie and wanted to read the book to see what was left out. Honestly, I feel like the movie is better than the book. At least, it adapted the material in a good way.
While I liked the book, I think it suffered from editing and a lack of intensity. Tami kept hearing a voice that kept her alive but I don't think she necessarily translated that onto the pages well. She talked to herself throughout the book and italicized the voice. It didn't seem as smooth as I would
Ashley Drumm
What a heart breaking story but inspirational to read. Can't wait to see the movie
Jan 28, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: survival, non-fiction
Red Sky in Mourning is often cited in the survival literature. Tami Oldham Ashcraft tells her own story of sailing from Tahiti to San Diego and capsizing in a hurricane. Her boyfriend is lost at sea and she awakes alone after being unconscious for 27 hours. She has the sailboat, a good amount of fresh water, canned food and other provisions, so more than many survivors. Her story is much more the story of the emotional survival for 44 days as she pilots her mastless, broken craft to Hawaii. She ...more
Perrin Pring
I found this book in a used book store and picked it up on a whim. It only took me an afternoon to read, and I greatly enjoyed it. Red Sky in Mourning is nineteen-year-old Tami Oldham's nonfiction account of her life as she sets off from home and begins to sail the Pacific Ocean, or at least part of it does.

Red Sky in Mourning can be divided into two tales. There is that of before the hurricane, and that of the aftermath of the hurricane. Oldham and her fiance were sailing a yacht across the
Pocket Full of Pages
Such an inspirational story about endless love and measures beyond extreme. This beautiful story left us in tears. Review to come very shortly <3
John Branney
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
This lady went through a tragic ordeal that most of us will never experience. However, I believe the author 'missed the boat' when she wrote this, figuratively speaking of course. The author struggled to adequately describe the unbelievable trauma and psychological drama she experienced during those thirty some days she spent bobbing like a cork, hoping to be rescued. Although she wrote about almost committing suicide, I did not feel that before her suicide contemplation, she adequately ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first, I had some trouble getting into this book. But after a certain point, I didn't want to put it down.
Patty Lauren
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
We saw the movie, “Adrift”, and I wanted to read the book after finding out it was based on a true story. Her bravery and perseverance despite what happened and how long she was at sea was inspiring to read!
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2018
Phenomenal story! Terrifying, captivating, beautiful. I would highly recommend. It's a short, quick read but it has so much to give. The boat talk is technical but in an interesting way, not over the top. Tami is an amazing woman, I have so much respect for her adventurous spirit. Tempted to jump on the next ferry to Friday Harbor just to seek her out and shake her hand.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast moving story about a young couple enjoying their sea adventures across the South Pacific making money along the way, that is, until the sea churns up its ugly head. It is stories like these that convince me sailing on a yacht across the vast oceans is not my cup of tea. Weather on land can be scary enough, experiencing it over the ocean makes it even scarier, especially knowing what type of animals live in the water, YIKES! The emotions Tami lived through this ordeal are incredible. I am ...more
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
What an unbelievable ordeal! As the days turned to weeks, early optimism turned to desperation and survival, but finally, I have finished this book. Coincidentally, the author had quite an ordeal too. If you are a fan of rolling your eyes at the over-dramatization of youthful romance and post-facto self pity, this book is for you.

To be fair, Tami is a survivor. No doubt about it. She endured 41 days by herself in the Pacific Ocean on an almost useless hull of a boat. Her days were filled only
Mareth Collins-wooley
unbelievably boring for a survival story, and reads like it was written by a high school student from an underperforming school. Unreadable.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
I’ll start off with praise for the book. The story is simply amazing and the woman will go down in history as one of the most tenacious survivors at sea. Just her navigational skill is something to be admired by 21st century sailors who rely on the whims of the electronic world.

She was a little slow to get moving in the metaphorically correct direction, i.e. getting her act together and getting the boat in order. I can’t believe that she would have had a water shortage in such a luxury yacht
Took me some time to finish this book, and I got to be honest: I skipped a lot of pages.

The idea of a book about survival on the sea intrigued me. The problem was the hurricane and all the miserable things start pretty soon in the book. This may work for other people, but I find it hard to connect with the personages in the book if this is the case. I wouldve preferred to read their meeting story and some more background story’s first before the real action happens.

I know this is a story which
Nan B
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heart-wrenching story of adventure, love, survival, strength, will, grief and healing. The story includes a good amount of detail about sailing which not only helps you appreciate all that goes into it but also takes you to a few places most of us would only see in a travel magazine or National Geographic. You don’t need to be a sailor to appreciate this story, the power of Mother Nature, the vastness of the ocean, the constellations and the power of the mind and will to survive. The aftermath ...more
Caroline (readtotheend on IG)
Somewhere between 2 and 3 stars. Yes, I agree with other reviewers that it becomes a little dicey when you're "rating" someone's true life experience. Survivor stories are always inspiring and I feel motivated by reading about their grit and will to survive. That being said, not all survivors are writers and so the writing can be a bit choppy and disjointed when told in book form. I think as a motivational speaker, this would be an amazing story of courage and resilience but I didn't love ...more
I have mixed feelings...

I’ll begin by saying I think you need to have a different kind if lens if you’re going to critique how someone presents their personal story. It’s theirs, so the word choice, the emotion conveyed, I feel is out of bounds for criticism. I think it is fair to say when the structure of the telling could be better.

Because she was adrift for such a long time, it seemed to make sense that the book was partitioned into her time after the storm and her past getting into sailing,
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, I don't think this was very well-written. It seemed to skip across a lot of time on the sea and I found myself missing details. There were multiple things that weren't explained in details - and there were too many details about the time before the catastrophe as sea. I personally didn't care for what happened before - I didn't want to hear about all her past experiences with Richard. I wanted to know how she survived.
I don't like to criticize anyone's memoir, it's their story to tell, but I didn't know how much this would dwell on her love loss, verses the strength it takes to survive her ordeal. I just didn't connect and will leave it at that...
Sian Ackerley
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly sad book, but an incredibly inspiring one. How Tami pulled through the way she did through emotional turmoil and a messed up boat is inspirational. A very worth while read as it jumps between the present and the past Tami brings it to life.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dre McDermott
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 part of this book are really meaningful and others I felt completely inept in my knowledge of all things nautical. Overall pretty inspiring.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful, tragic, and powerful memoir. I absolutely adored this book. I’ll admit, I only picked the book up as “Adrift,” after seeing the trailer for the film. After devouring this book in about 24 hours, I’m not sure I can see the film, because this was just too good. To me, it was a beautiful love letter to Richard. Sailing knowledge or not, I was honored to go on Tami’s journey. I sailed with her across the magnificent mystery of the sea, weeped with her at her most vulnerable, and ...more
Jessica  Van Tassell
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was much better than other lost at sea books I have read. Less technical speak and more of a human element which I enjoyed.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good book that tells an amazing survival adventure story.
Yep, I read this book, Adrift, however, it was in English! Good quick read.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not that great. I found that it was kind of boring even though it was a very high intensity story. It was just eh. I didn't like the voice that the author had and felt that it jumped around too much without any warning.
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