It's five o'clock in the morning and still dark. Swimming outside the wave break off the Catalina coast, training for her next long-distance swim (she has already crossed the English Channel twice), 17-year-old Lynne Cox senses that something is following her. She worries that it might be a great white shark.
Instead, it's a baby gray whale, separated from its mother on their journey to the Bering Sea 8,000 miles away. Lynne needs to leave the water to rest, but she knows that if she does, the calf will follow her onto shore and die. To save its life, she must reunite mother and calf in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean.
Miracles happen now and then. Sometimes we recognize them when they occur; sometimes it takes years of experience to understand. Looking back on that chilly morning, a beloved author and inspirational speaker shares her personal story of love, hope, loss, and faith.
©2006 Lynne Cox; (P)2006 HighBridge Company
"Inspirational, almost spiritual." (Kirkus Reviews)
"The combination of retelling her once-in-a-lifetime experience with her observations on life will have timeless appeal for all ages." (Publishers Weekly)
"Grayson is moving and thrilling in its simple language as Cox laments the inadequacy of words to express profound feelings but demonstrates the exhilaration of the effort." (Booklist)
This slight memoir was touching and lovely. Lynne was a teenager, training for a Channel swim off the coast of California, when she discovered she was being followed by a baby Gray Whale who had lost his mother. She swims with him for where the pod of whales was heading (sailors have called in spottings of the whales once the plight of the Baby Gray was relayed), to reunite him with his mother. An abandoned or lost baby whale will only survive a few hours, so this was a race against time and against the odds.
Lynne felt an immediate empathy towards the large baby she started to call Grayson, almost seemingly able to communicate with him. They were separated a few times, and Lynne tested her stamina and fortitude in her efforts. I doubt I am giving away anything big by saying they were successful, although given the ending of every other animal-related memoir I've read, that might in fact be a surprise. But it was a tender and beautiful story. Very short, the story of just a couple of hours' time, the audio is the same length so it's like it was occurring in real time. The audio is read by the author, who has a languid and calm tone, even when relating worry and confusion. I think if the book had been longer, her tone might have had a somnolent effect, but in this brief tale, it was perfect.
Not a great epic, not action packed or filled with excitement, this story nonetheless kept me riveted, hoping against hope that somehow in the vast Pacific Ocean, Lynne would manage to pull off a miracle, which she most certainly did in this memoir.
This book was an easy listen and I liked the fact that the narrator was also the author. Her experience is quite something to hear about and described very well.
This book surprised me. The author has a wonderful reading voice that is soothing and a little hypnotic. This is a story about a great experience and is told in a motivating, and loving way. I had a little tear at the end, but in a good way.
You are able to feel the emotions.
A kind pleasant & unusual story.
Feeling like I was there.
The kindness and warmth felt through the story.
Relaxing and yet compelled to keep listing.
I loved the story and the description of all of the wildlife that she saw on her swim.
Didn't read the print version.
Knowing those west coast waters, and specifically having done a lot of swimming in the very locale of the story, I was mesmerized by her experience. Her mental discipline to keep it together after so many hours in the water is amazing. Yet, a water bug myself, I think the extra adrenaline would help. What a joyful precious experience for her.
No offense, but probably not. Her reading ability is flat. However, her true story carried the day!
Yes, two: her hanging around patiently to wait for the baby whale to reappear, and then getting to look so closely into the whale's eye.
Wouldn't mind swimming with her in warm water where whales abound. I know she is a swimmer who braves the frigid waters, but I think her excitement and encouragement to another swimmer is what I would need to hang in there for a swim of a lifetime!!
It is wonderful the bond we can hold with animals. Many times they sense what is in our hearts and minds. A very special and wonderful experience. If we open ourselves to the world we can savor the wonderment.
I cannot say enough good things about this audible book. The story is unbelievable, and succinctly told. It took my breath away at times. Lynne Cox is not a great reader, but her writing carries itself and it is interesting to hear her tell her own story. She does an amazing job of taking a powerful story to an almost mystical level with her metaphors and life lessons. If you avoid the world of self help and spirituality, this might feed that part of your soul without beating you over the head with dogma. I loved that you could listen to it in an afternoon, or, as I did, while taking a long walk. Enjoy!
Yes, most absolutely and already have ... it's like a fairytale only it really happened! Amazing mental graphics brought to life by Lynne Cox. Brought back quite naturally my own childhood thought processes and how wonderful it can be to engage with nature on a personal level.
At the point where she realizes the baby whale has been following her. Lynne's excitement is most evident and palpable.
Lynne's voice is as soothing as a lullaby, her tone a song as she retells her most amazing story. Very vivid descriptions of the entire encounter. It is almost as if one is there alongside her in the Pacific water of Southern California experiencing the action and adventure with her.
An amazing story of the interaction of man and nature, innocence, empathy and determination.
Will most definitely hear it for many years to come; moreover, will absolutely expect to engage my grandkids in this book. It is an experience that we would all dream of having at some point in our lives. Bravo Miss Cox.
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