Book Review; For Better for Worse, For Richer for Poorer by Damian & Siobhan Horner

Horner, D & S. (2009) For Better for Worse, For Richer for Poorer Weidenfeld & Nicolson ISDN 978 0 297 85423 4

If you’ve ever had one of those ‘What if…?’ conversations with your partner and then regretted not following through with the answer, this may be the book for you.

BBfW,FRfP or perhaps ‘boats, babies and breaking free…’ is the story of a relationship, and the story of what happens when a relationship is taken out of its comfort zone.
Damian and Siobhan Horner were a happily married couple, living in London with two small children. Damian had a hugely successful career in advertising, and Siobhan, after years of globe-trotting with the travel industry, had settled into the role of full-time mum. They had a comfortable home for their children, a good circle of friends and a secure future.

To most people there was no need to ‘give it all up’ but they were frustrated. They were feeling like they had less and less choice about how they lived their lives (with Kids, Schools, Houses, Careers, and People Carriers all conspiring against them).

Their reaction was to do what many of us only dream about – in a space just 17ft long by 8ft wide with no mains water or electricity, television, internet or washing machine – they bought a firty-year old wooden boat and travelled over a thousand miles via canals, rivers and the sea. Welcome to For Better For Worse. For Richer For Poorer.

Told in two voices, we hear both sides of their story, two very different perspectives, as Damian and Siobhan describe coming to terms with themselves and their life on board the old fishing boat crossing France with no space, no charts, no deadlines and no flushing toilet.

I’d highly recommend this book. It’s a warm, funny, touching, engaging, inspiring and very honest account of how two people gave up what looked like a great life on the surface (but was killing them underneath) for a new life of adventure, self-discovery, renewal and the unknown. Brave people, great story – it may be their first book but I hope it won’t be their last.


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