Afloat by Danie Couchman

Published August 28, 2021

Afloat by Danie Couchman

Book info

  • Title Afloat
  • Author Danie Couchman
  • Year 2019
  • Genre Memoir

Danie Couchman grew up on the move, her family never staying still long enough for her to say where she’s from. At twenty-five, and living in her seventeenth home, she finds herself drowning in the rush of London life, and makes an impulsive decision: to buy a narrowboat and make it her home. Surrounded by an eclectic and itinerant community in the uncharted territory of the capital’s urban wilderness, Danie becomes fully immersed in this hidden world. Each day onboard her boat Genesis is an adventure full of disaster and magic. Over five years of living off-grid, nomadic Danie learns to survive the many highs and lows of boat life alone, keeping herself, and her steel home, afloat.


I thought this was going to be a book about the highs and lows of living on a canal boat, and of course it was partly that, but there was a lot more to it than just navigating locks and finding a spot to stop for the night. This is more about the author’s search to find herself, someone a bit lost and looking for the way forward, having survived some personal traumas. It was good not just to hear the romantic side about life on the water, there were plenty of negatives too. The book wasn’t quite what I had expected, but it was well written and detailed an interesting journey.

Rating: 3 / 5

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