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Maurice and Maralyn
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About the Author

Sophie Elmhirst is a prizewinning writer for the Guardian Long Read and The Economist's 1843 magazine, and a contributing editor at the Gentlewoman and Harper's Bazaar. In 2020 she won the British Press Award for Feature Writer of the Year; she has also won a Foreign Press Award and been longlisted for the Orwell Prize. She first came across the story of Maurice and Maralyn Bailey researching a piece on our desire to escape. This is her first book. She lives in London.

Reviews

Electrifying . . . a tender portrait of two unconventional souls blithely defying the conventions of their era and making a break for freedom
*Guardian*

An extraordinary survival story… Elmhirst’s reconstruction of their ordeal is riveting, told in illuminating detail
*Sunday Times*

A compelling book about a shipwreck, but also as thoughtful a tale about marriage, for better and worse, as you are likely to read
*Observer*

An amazing tale of survival . . . reminds me how incredibly hard it is to find love out there in the world
*New Statesman*

A gripping tale of maritime catastrophe but also of marriage
*Sunday Times*

An epic story of adventure and survival
*Daily Express*

Superb… Elmhirst is good at evoking an era that feels both familiar and like deep history… you really do hang on to her every word
*Spectator*

With its period detail and softly poetic prose, the book melds together the sweet conjugal bonds of a quirky pair with the adrenaline kick of Jaws… It is a remarkable portrait of a marriage kept afloat against the odds
*Financial Times*

Never sentimental and perfectly paced, this is the best sort of story: a true one
*Economist*

A quirky, thrilling and moving tale of a love which proved stronger than starvation, dehydration and the mighty Pacific
*i*

Extraordinary . . . Elmhirst is a terrific writer
*ELIZABETH DAY*

This dramatic, profound human story is so beautifully told in calm, thoughtful, perfectly judged prose. I really could not put it down
*NINA STIBBE, author of Love, Nina*

A gripping story of survival at sea and a haunting account of the yearning to escape . . . It hasn’t left my mind since I finished it
*OLIVER BURKEMAN*

A beautiful, brilliant book, an exquisitely written piece of non-fiction that reads like a great novel

An exciting, fast-paced, terrifying adventure story, and at the same time a slow, gentle commentary on love
*ALEXANDER MASTERS, author of Stuart: a Life Backwards*

This is a survival story of relentless power, an epic of human resourcefulness, and of the emotional toll taken at last by suffering’s extremity
*COLIN THUBRON*

A beautiful, searing book -- a miniature epic of seafaring and survival with an unbreakable, unusual love story at its heart
*SAM KNIGHT, author of The Premonitions Bureau*

What an astonishing story. And what a sublime piece of writing
*JULIET NICOLSON, author of A House Full of Daughters*

The extraordinary 1973 ordeal of Maurice and Maralyn Bailey comes to life in Sophie Elmhirst’s telling... it speeds along like a novel
*Daily Telegraph*

An unlikely love story wrapped in a dramatic adventure
*Waitrose*

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