Discussion Questions For
Love with a Chance of Drowning
by Torre DeRoche
Torre and Ivan spent two years at sea living without many of the creature comforts that one finds in modern day life, such as internet and phones, limitless electricity and water, and well-stocked supermarkets and stores. If you were thrust into a similar off-the-grid situation, what do you think you would miss the most?
Did Torre and Ivan’s high-seas adventure make you feel grateful to be safe on dry land, or did it inspire you to seek out a wild adventure of your own?
Before the couple set off on their epic voyage, Torre tells Ivan she’s afraid they’ll meet their deaths by drowning. He replies: “Some people die of old age without ever having lived their dreams. Some people die without ever having loved. That’s tragic. We’ll both die someday, that’s a guarantee. If something happens on the ocean, we’ll die as two people in love who are living a remarkable adventure. That’s a good way to die.” What do you think about Ivan’s philosophy on life, death, and danger? It is inspiring or reckless?
When Torre tells her mother she’s thinking of sailing home to Australia from the United States on a small yacht with a man she’s just met, her mother gives consent with an elegant analogy: “I’ve always preferred to stick feathers on your wings rather than clip them off.” How would you react if this were your own child or loved one? Would you give your approval? Or would you feel more tempted to ‘clip feathers’ and keep your loved one grounded?
Do you think that Ivan and Torre would’ve had a better experience if they’d taken more time for education and preparation? Or was it a better idea for them to just dive in and learn to swim in the deep end, so to speak?
It’s obvious that Torre wouldn’t have sailed across the Pacific Ocean if a chance meeting in a bar did not lead her into Ivan’s watery world, but do you think Ivan would’ve made the voyage if not for Torre? Why / why not?
During a heartfelt conversation, Ivan opens up to Torre about his childhood in Argentina spent living under the oppression of a harsh dictatorship. Do you feel this impacted his decision to set sail? It’s clearly apparent that Ivan helped Torre to face her demons, but in what ways do you think Torre helped Ivan to face his?
Seeing the world by yacht is a pursuit that most people assume is only for the wealthy and the fearless, but in Love with a Chance of Drowning we meet two people who do not fit this cliché. Ivan had to fight through disadvantage and poverty to make his dream happen, while Torre had to confront her crippling phobia in order to join him. Do you think that we often limit ourselves in life by believing we’re stuck with the hand we’re dealt?
Is it important for people to challenge themselves in this way? Does it ever make sense to just take it easy and opt for the easier path?
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