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Save Me from the Waves

"An adventure that explores the musical connectivity of life."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Jessica Hepburn's claim to be the only person to run the London Marathon, swim the English Channel, climb Everest and listen to the entire back catalogue of Desert Island Discs is incredible - especially when you consider there are over 3000 episodes. No doubt those other things are also difficult but 3000!.. that's a listening feat of 24,000 pieces of music which isn't that far off the number of vertical feet that Everest amounts to.

In Save Me From The Waves Jessica weaves her way between her adventurous achievements, the songs and stories of her own life and moments of inspiration derived from her favourite show. It's a clever title which not only references a highlight of the weekly programme when famous guests are asked to pick their very favourite track to save, but also perhaps refers to radio airwaves and of course her own Channel swim.

It is on Everest though where she has her most dangerous moment, and at this stage of the book she is reflecting on song choices to die to - having earlier listed childhood songs, love songs, faith songs and so on. At every chapter turn she is providing lists but holds back from delivering her overall favourite eight tracks. Anyone who listens to Desert Island Discs has probably had a go at doing this and if they are like me will have given up as it seems a little self-aggrandising and is also bloody difficult.

What Save Me From The Waves celebrates so beautifully is the way in which music is the mortar that holds the bricks of our lives together. The radio show does this too, but our author has turned that on its head in the way that her listening provides the inspiration for adventure and also the companionship to get her through. In some cases the songs she hears trigger her own memories, but in others they provide answers, direction and even closure.

This is a heart-warming memoir written with a light and humorous touch that inspires and reflects in equal measure.

Greg Hackett

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