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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Nancy Cramer Reviews "Ashes in the Ocean" by Sebastian Slovin

Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing for the opportunity to participate in the book blog tour for Sebastian Slovin's Ashes in the Ocean.

Review by Nancy Cramer:

Reading Ashes in the Ocean by Sebastian Slovin brings
suicide into the forefront. Being a nature lover, an athlete
and a Yoga teacher extraordinaire, helps Sebastian confront and delve into his father’s suicide.

A recollection of a childhood that could’ve been different. A realization of how a person lives their life and how it can form another person’s life. An awakening that what you have lived, what you think you know and what you find out can change who you become.

Reading Ashes in the Ocean is enlightening! Suicide is usually not a high priority topic. Suicide is embarrassing, depressing, hard to talk about and permanent. Realizing what the person has been going through before the act of suicide is important to understand. Sebastian spent a lot of time traveling and talking to his father’s family and friends to get an understanding of how his father came to his decision. Sebastian also found his father’s decision did not dictate his own life.

An excellent, quick read. I’d recommend this book to not only those that have had to experience suicide close up, but to all readers. Understanding, through Sebastian’s eyes, could be pivoting in understanding the “why.”

About Sebastian Slovin:

Since he can remember, nature has been a central part of Sebastian’s life. He was fortunate to grow up in the beach community of La Jolla, California, and spent his childhood mixing it up in the ocean. As a young boy, he lost his father to suicide, which would later deeply inspire his path in life. As a young adult, he had the opportunity to travel extensively and experience many of the world’s great surf spots as a professional bodyboarder. Through his travel, Sebastian developed a deep love and appreciation for our natural world, and at the same time was drawn to the practice of yoga.

His love for yoga led him to study at Prana Yoga Center in La Jolla, California, and his passion for nature eventually led him to pursue a BA in Environment and Natural Resource Conservation at San Diego State University. He also holds an MA in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego.

He lives with his wife Sonya in Encinitas, California. He and Sonya have a business called Nature Unplugged, which focuses on cultivating wellness through healthier relationships with technology and a deeper connection to nature. When he is not writing or working on Nature Unplugged, Sebastian enjoys swimming, bodysurfing, surfing, and stand-up paddling (pretty much all things) in the wild Pacific Ocean.

Find Sebastian Online:





More About the Book:

A son's story of living through and learning from his father's suicide.

Vernon Slovin was a legend. He was one of the best swimmers in his home country of South Africa, and for a time in the world. He prided himself on being the best. The best in sports, business, and life. He had it all, a big home, athletic prestige, fancy clothes and cars, and a beautiful wife and family. Everything was going his way until it all came tumbling down. He lost everything, including his own life. In the wake of his suicide he left his wife and two young children.

In this riveting memoir, Vernon’s son, Sebastian Slovin chronicles his experience of living in the shadow of a suicide, and his journey out of the darkness and into the light. Slovin shares his quest to uncover why his father took his own life. A pilgrimage that led him around the world and eventually back to himself.

Ashes in the Ocean is a powerful story about facing one’s fears and choosing a different path.

Paperback: 222 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Nature Unplugged (March 2018)
ISBN-10: 978-0-692-05119-1
ISBN-13: 978-0692051191

Ashes in the Ocean: Book Trailer from Nature Unplugged on Vimeo.

Ashes in the Ocean: A Son's Story of Living Through and Learning From His Father's Suicide is available in print and as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

About Today's Reviewer, Nancy Cramer: 

Since I was young I could travel, hide and grow “in” my book world. When young I read series: Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, etc. From that young world I grew into books that were a bit different. I usually bypass the mainstream authors. I find the quirky books, the ones that are a bit of fantasy with reality thrown in. If it starts out holding my
interest I have been known to stay up late into the night to find out what happens next!

I’m retired from the greatest career I could have ever stumbled upon. I taught 31 years, 26 in Kingergarten - a highlight of my life! Want quirkiness, fun, drama and great rewards - try being with 5 to 8 year olds everyday for 31 years! It was a hoot everyday and the kiddos wrote more books than I can remember. Books for every unit we
covered In K through 3rd. grade! Art work was an added bonus for many of the children while writing and “publishing” their books.

I like to think I passed my love of reading onto my own 2 children
as well. Their interests are varied and different stages of life have
brought different genres to the forefront. All 3 of us devoured the
Harry Potter series! A great way to connect with your children,
discussing the excitement of books.

Being an avid traveler, through my teaching years and in retirement,
I have also gravitated to books about the areas I’ve visited or lived in.
I walked a short distance on the Appalachian Trail at one point in my life.
That set me off researching and reading all the books I could find about
people that have walked the multitude of trails in the world. Their stories
are amazing!

I will continue to curl up with a book, be it in the dead of winter in
front of the fire or in a hammock by the lake with fish jumping in
the background. With a book in your hands, the world is yours!


  1. Nancy, thank you for your wonderful and very thoughtful review of Ashes in the Ocean. I resonated with your synopsis and thought you touched on the key points and takeaways. You helped me see aspects of the book in a new light.
    Also, I see we have a mutual love for the outdoors and hiking. Very cool. Let me know if you're ever out in Southern California and I can show you my favorite trails (with ocean views).