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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Michelle DelPonte Reviews "Ashes in the Ocean" by Sebastian Slovin

Thank you for Michelle for being today's guest reviewer and thank you to WOW! Women on Writing for the opportunity to participate in the book blog tour of Ashes in the Ocean by Sebastian Slovin!

Review by Michelle DelPonte: 

As a wife, and mother of two boys, who struggles with chronic depression, I knew I had to read this book. I work full time night shift, come home to get less than two hours of sleep, and must function for my sons. My youngest is 3 and neuro-typical, while my 5-year-old is gifted with an autistic brain. I can honestly say in my 38 years of life, I have gone through a few to many stages where I just wanted life to be over. Thankfully, I have always been blessed with a reason to go on. When my dear friend Crystal posted about Sebastian’s book, I was at one of those low points. I knew I needed to make a change or my kids would possibly grow up without me. It is funny in an ironic way. It is sad to see that we will do just about anything for our kids, but not for ourselves.

Reading Sebastian’s life story and about the stigma of suicide really was eye opening. I wonder, if his father knew what harm his suicide would do to them? Sebastian and his mother shared this heartache privately and alone, yet together. Why can people not talk about suicide? Who are the outsiders that will judge? Sebastian’s father was a legend. He accomplished things many of us on Earth could only dream of with his swimming. Part of me truly believes he was part superhuman, with that lung capacity any swimmer would die for.

Hearing this story about Sebastian’s struggles and about his own destiny was heart retching. How could he have to pay such a high price because of his father’s choice? How could he truly feel that he had to follow in his footsteps? Sebastian eloquently discusses his feelings, fears, and anxieties about his father’s death and how it impacted his entire life. Finding courage in his fear, Sebastian embarks on a journey to find the answers he needs to believe in himself and life. He finds a way to connect with his mother on a level he was unable to I while growing up. Sebastian learns to forgive and let go. This book truly shows the real victims of suicide, those left behind.

Thank you, Sebastian, for sharing this tragedy with the world. I know in my heart it will help people on similar paths. Mental health and suicide should never be taboo.

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 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:





About Today's Reviewer:

Michelle DelPonte is a busy mom and health care worker. Her two sons are the focus of her life and she works diligently to raise awareness about autism in the community. She loves reading, anything to do with history and geocaching just to name a few of her many hobbies. Michelle, her husband Ben and their two sons Sebastian and Asher live in Manitowoc, WI on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan where they enjoy walking and biking on the Mariner’s Trail and spending time at the Library.

1 comment:

  1. Michelle, thank you so much for your thoughtful review. I really appreciate you sharing about your personal situation and how you connected to the story. You touched upon many of the core reasons I wrote Ashes in the Ocean. And, I loved how you put it at the end, "Mental health and suicide should never be taboo." I'm completely with you on that. Thank you.