BY JACQUELYN BLOMQUIST | The Statesman
Newlyweds Afloat: Married Bliss and Mechanical Breakdowns While Living Aboard a Trawler
By: Felicia Schneiderhan
240 pages. Breakaway Books. $14.95
Felicia Schneiderhan’s first memoir, “Newlyweds Afloat: Married Bliss and Mechanical Breakdowns While Living Aboard a Trawler” was recently released to the public.
Schneiderhan was a guest on KUMD’s “Women’s Words” last May where she read a chapter from her book in which she recounted the near drowning of her son.
Newly single, Felicia Schneiderhan had every intention of living it up in the third largest city in the country as a “sassy-Sex-and-the-City-hip-young-creative-urban-single-female.” Yet she quickly finds herself falling for a man—an older man—who is definitely not the type of man she goes for.
This man is a college professor, straight-laced as far as she could tell. But there’s something about him, something intriguing. He rides a motorcycle, knows the tricks to illegal downtown parking and he lived on a boat on Lake Michigan – right outside of one of the most prestigious Chicago neighborhoods.
Growing up on the Mississippi River and the daughter of a fisherman, Schneiderhan was quite familiar with boats. But living year-round aboard a thirty-eight-foot trawler in downtown Chicago was not anything she ever imagined possible.
Nevertheless, Schneiderhan jumped right in and married the man, got rid of most everything she owned and moved herself and her two large, white (seasick) cats onto the boat.
Felicia Schneiderhan describes the first two years of marriage while living in close quarters aboard a trawler. Schneiderhan battles with jealousy issues, referring to the boat as her husband’s “first lover,” frustrations over the endless breakdowns and repairs, as well as her own problem with alcoholism.
Schneiderhan beautifully details her experience with falling in love and learning to be a wife–an active participant in life with her husband and the boat.