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Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 18 Aug 2019, 16:06
by Tomah
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Mighty Mary" by Tony Scaringe.]
Book Cover
2 out of 4 stars
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Mighty Mary is a yacht racing novel written by Tony Scaringe. It’s based on the real story of the first all-female team to compete in America’s Cup, a traditional sailing competition. We follow these women’s journey to prove themselves and break the male dominance, facing several challenges along the way.

The book begins with Tony Serrano, a reporter who wants to uncover the real story behind the women’s team. He interviews Dan Cook, a previous America’s Cup winner and the man who came up with the idea of an all-female crew. The story is told through Dan’s memories as well as a third-person point of view that reveals things even he doesn’t know.

Thanks to the author’s meticulous research, the novel feels very authentic. Most of the names are changed and a few artistic liberties are taken, but quick research confirms that the events described in the story did take place. The author even includes a bibliography at the end that lists all the books and articles he’s consulted.

Some of the sailing scenes are described in vivid detail, pulling the reader into the action even if they don’t have much knowledge of the sport. I particularly enjoyed the struggles of the U.S. Women’s Challenge during the Whitbread competition, in which the crew faced mortal dangers. That said, this isn’t a great read for beginners: the book uses technical terms like spinnaker, bow, and halyards without bothering to explain most of them. It’s certainly possible to follow the story regardless, but some familiarity with sailing makes the experience more enjoyable.

Sadly, the novel’s second half isn’t as exciting as the first one. This is partly because America’s Cup is less dangerous than Whitbread, but also because we don’t get to know the crew or see them in action all that much. I was far more invested in the U.S. Women’s Challenge and the Heineken than the Mighty Mary: the struggles felt real, the stakes were higher, and the crew had interesting dynamics. Indeed, aside from Gail Adley, no crew members get much development.

Thanks to its huge cast of characters, Mighty Mary can’t spend much time on each of them. The main focus is on Gail, Dan, and Vince as protagonists and Davon as the antagonist. Unfortunately, Davon is the worst aspect of the book: he’s portrayed as a one-dimensional villain who never misses a chance to throw offensive remarks. He’s supposed to represent the chauvinistic resistance towards the women’s team, but this ends up being his only trait, making him a weak character.

There are many errors in the book: missing punctuation, “to” being used instead of “too”, misuse of apostrophes for plurals, etc. I found ten errors in the first four chapters alone. There are also random line breaks in the middle of paragraphs, further distracting the reader. Overall, the novel still needs several rounds of editing.

Mighty Mary is a novel with a lot of potential that fails to deliver as far as character development is concerned. Given its poor editing as well, I rate it 2 out of 4 stars. The book is suitable for older teenagers since there's some vulgar language. I recommend it to readers interested in yacht racing, and particularly in the Mighty Mary and its crew. People unfamiliar with sailing can still read the book, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re willing to spend some time researching on your own.

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Mighty Mary
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Re: Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 04:02
by Nivi Gideon
Thank you for your honest views and it gives the reader an idea of exactly what to expect from the book. Great going!

Re: Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 07:53
by Tomah
Nivi Gideon wrote:
20 Aug 2019, 04:02
Thank you for your honest views and it gives the reader an idea of exactly what to expect from the book. Great going!
Thanks for the comment! Overall, it's not a bad book, but it has its fair share of problems.

Re: Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 08:50
by sarahmarlowe
I began reading your review with excitement about this book. The plot sounded fresh and powerful! However, there is a reason we read reviews, isn't there? I was disappointed to discover that the second half of the novel, should I say, "sinks?" Thank you for writing such a thorough review!

Re: Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 08:51
by Wyland
I like this all women's foray into a man's world. I would like to read about their experience. Thanks for the wonderful review.

Re: Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 10:05
by kandscreeley
I don't know much about sailing, and I'm not sure I'm particularly interested in it in this context. Still, a female yacht racing team is a different subject to write about. Thanks for your take on this.

Re: Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 11:45
by rumik
Thanks so much for the detailed review! I'm always interested in reading about strong women so I'd give this one a try if there weren't so many editing issues.

Re: Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 12:36
by Nizar Ali Shah
Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe is a novel which has a lot of potentials but in terms of character development it seems a weaker one.The story is a real story of the first all - female team in the competition in America's Cup.
The author tells us that women are second to none despite the facts that there are many problems for the women in the male dominated society.
I recommend this novel to those interested in yacht racing and in the Mighty Mary and to its companions.it is also useful for older age teenager.The idea that women should have an equal opportunity in the society has a universal appeal.

Re: Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 16:27
by Tomah
Wyland wrote:
20 Aug 2019, 08:51
I like this all women's foray into a man's world. I would like to read about their experience. Thanks for the wonderful review.
kandscreeley wrote:
20 Aug 2019, 10:05
I don't know much about sailing, and I'm not sure I'm particularly interested in it in this context. Still, a female yacht racing team is a different subject to write about. Thanks for your take on this.
rumik wrote:
20 Aug 2019, 11:45
Thanks so much for the detailed review! I'm always interested in reading about strong women so I'd give this one a try if there weren't so many editing issues.
sarahmarlowe wrote:
20 Aug 2019, 08:50
I began reading your review with excitement about this book. The plot sounded fresh and powerful! However, there is a reason we read reviews, isn't there? I was disappointed to discover that the second half of the novel, should I say, "sinks?" Thank you for writing such a thorough review!
Thanks for the comments! Indeed, the book sinks when it comes to character development and proper editing, but it's still worth a read if you're interested in the topic.

Re: Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 21 Aug 2019, 08:07
by Wanja Hannah
You have really tried to compose a nice review for the book but I will skip it. I like books that have great plots and we'll developed plots.

Re: Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 21 Aug 2019, 11:10
by OuKoyoo
This sounds like a great book considering the fact that it is based on a true story. It is unfortunate that it has a number of shortfalls that denied it two stars thus earning only two out of four. Thank you for the beautiful review.

Re: Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 21 Aug 2019, 15:24
by Tomah
OuKoyoo wrote:
21 Aug 2019, 11:10
This sounds like a great book considering the fact that it is based on a true story. It is unfortunate that it has a number of shortfalls that denied it two stars thus earning only two out of four. Thank you for the beautiful review.
Wanja Hannah wrote:
21 Aug 2019, 08:07
You have really tried to compose a nice review for the book but I will skip it. I like books that have great plots and we'll developed plots.
Thanks for the comments! It's really not a terrible book overall, but poor editing isn't something readers can ignore.

Re: Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 21 Aug 2019, 16:10
by esp1975
The concept sounds great. I know a woman who was on an all women sailing team, and even now they still face a lot of discrimination and a lack of respect. At the same time, I am a little mistrustful of a book that tells the story of the first all women anything mainly from the POV of two men, one of whom claims credit for the "idea" of an all female team. I don't feel like I am going out on a limb to guess that many women have had that idea throughout the history of the sport.

Re: Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 21 Aug 2019, 16:25
by Mbrooks2518
From the summary, this doesn't seem like one I'd enjoy. The numerous errors and weak characterization cemented my decision to pass on it. Thanks for the great review!

Re: Official Review: Mighty Mary by Tony Scaringe

Posted: 22 Aug 2019, 00:27
by nooregano
Mighty Mary is a novel with a lot of potential that fails to deliver as far as character development is concerned.
Sigh. That is the one main metric I use to judge a story, and it's disheartening that there is no character development. However, the premise of the book is really intriguing, and it seems to have been a very informative read. I'm curious to know, Tomah, did you personally like the book?