2017 Independent Press Awards Winner in Memoir 2016 Beverly Hills Book Awards Winner in Memoir 2016 Indie Excellence Winner in Young Adult Non-Fiction 2016 Readers' Favorite Awards Bronze Winner in Non-fiction: Travel 2016 Next Gen Indie Awards Finalist in Memoirs (Overcoming Adversity/Tragedy/Challenges)
"A debut memoir reveals a turbulent adolescence. At first glance, the voyage of Bjorn Johansen and his three daughters from San Diego to the islands of Tahiti in 1975 ... has all the makings of a standard adventure story. In keeping with the tone of the project as a whole, [the] ending, while somewhat abrupt, is powerful and inspiring. Perhaps the only quibble is that Nack leaves readers wanting more. An engaging account, gripping from start to finish, that should appeal to a wide audience, including sailing enthusiasts."
"The raw and emotional debut novel by Leslie Johansen Nack has it all: mid-Pacific monster storms, emergencies at sea, a young female heroine, sex and drugs all while exploring the world on a 45-foot custom-built sailboat. All of this intrigue combines to tell the incredible true story of a young teenaged girl, as told by the author, her two sisters and their father, as they untangle the daily web of incredibly wondrous and equally appalling experiences while sailing from Oceanside, San Diego, to the Marquesas, Tuamotu and Society islands. Full of conflict and secrets, adventure and survival, this page-turner is as good as it gets and will be passed on to passionate sailors for decades to come."
--Pacific Yachting Magazine
is the riveting story of a girl and her sisters coming of age and struggling to survive staggering odds as her father pursues his dream of sailing his own boat to Tahiti. This book totally captures the intrigue and romance of arriving under sail in the South Pacific during the mid-'70s."
--John Neal, Offshore Cruising Companion and author of Log of the Mahina
is the poignant and gripping coming-of-age story of Leslie Johansen Nack, a smart, strong girl who sails to Tahiti with her two sisters and predatory father in 1975. With him as captain of their 45' boat, Nack's life depends upon him . . . until he falls ill. The skills and confidence Nack gains from sailing, combined with her indomitable will, help Nack fight back against her father's abuse--and might even help her save his life. In candid, clear, even-handed prose, Leslie Johansen Nack's Fourteen is an important book, one that takes us on a lush journey to distant lands and through the complexities and resilience of the human spirit."
--Janna Cawrse Esarey, author of The Motion of the Ocean
is a simply beautiful tale of wild bravery."
--San Gabriel Valley Tribune
"As the story unfolds, you find yourself simultaneously holding your breath for the next episode of her dad's strange behavior, and cheering for Leslie's growing strength in dealing with it. She not only survives, she shows an amazing strength in dealing with situations that would overwhelm many adults, let alone fourteen-year-olds. I found the book gripping."
--Carolyn Shearlock, The Boat Galley.Com
"Despite a dysfunctional family life, 14-year-old Leslie Johansen learns to stand up to her father's abuse and becomes an accomplished sailor. This true adventure about sailing the South Pacifi c is an uplifting testament to the strength of a young teen. --The Ensign
"Nack's interest in sailing is not superficial. She has a respect for the ocean that her father teaches her; this is one of the reasons she is so close to him. But she knows she has much more to learn. She battles the standard teenage demons of boys and school, but her unconventional home life is a fascinating tale. Set against the background of life with a floating home, the teenage angst is not the focus of the story. [Fourteen] is not just a sailing story, nor is it a coming of age tale, but a splendid mix of the two."
Leslie Johansen Nack graduated UCLA with a BA in English literature. She is a member of the National Association of Memoir Writers and San Diego Writers Ink and lives in San Diego. She is the author of Fourteen: A Daughter's Memoir of Adventure, Sailing, and Survival, (She Writes Press, Oct 2015) which has won five indie book awards including 2016 Winner of the NIEA for YA Non-Fiction; 2016 Winner of Bronze at Readers' Favorites in Non-Fiction Travel; 2016 Finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Memoir; 2016 Winner of the Memoir category of the Beverly Hills Book Awards and the 2017 Independent Press Award for Memoir. For more information go to www.lesliejohansennack.com